Opinion: The McLaren 720s signals a new era in Supercars

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It’s no secret- Mclaren has quickly climbed the ranks putting out some of the best road going supercars. After producing the legendary McLaren F1  (in my opinion, the greatest car ever made) throughout the 1990’s, McLaren was absent from the street-legal supercar market. Manufacturers such as Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and many others seemed to be the go-to brands for the super wealthy who wanted to go super fast in extraordinary style.

In 2011, McLaren made a reappearance when the MP4-12C hit the market. The sleek looking supercar had a 3.8L twin-turbo V8 pumping out about 590horsepower. McLaren had quickly captured the attention of car enthusiasts who were still in love with the brand due to the F1’s legacy. Then, in 2013 came McLaren’s biggest push into the street-legal supercar market with the release of the million-dollar P1. Exquisite styling, monstrous power and state-of-the-art technology put the P1 and McLaren at the top of the supercar world competing directly with hyper-cars from Porsche and Ferrari.

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McLaren MP4-12C

Fast forward to the present day and McLaren has a very impressive lineup. The 12C is no more but McLaren now has the the 650s, 675LT, and the 570s (540s outside the U.S.). McLaren and the P1 were still dominating the game but the supercar industry had rapidly changed from decades before. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and other manufacturers were putting out cars at an astronomical rate. No longer would a model be offered for 10+ years but instead cars would last about 4-5 years before getting rebranded and refreshed into something faster and better looking than the previous generation. This is where the all new 2018 McLaren 720s comes into play.

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McLaren 720s

The unique styling caught the world by storm. Some, weary of the new look and others in  love (the car looks much better in person than in photos). Put styling aside for a minute though and focus on performance. The 4.0L twin-turbo V8 makes an impressive 710horsepower (almost 50hp more than Ferrari’s 488GTB). The 720s will propel to 0-60mph in a blistering fast 2.8 seconds and will max out at 212mph. All for a very reasonable $288,000 USD.

There is one issue though- these are the performance numbers on paper. Ask anyone who has driven the 720s (or has put the car on the Dyno) and they will tell you that there is no way McLaren is being ‘honest’ with the performance numbers- but not in a bad way. Almost every reviewer of the supercar says the 720s is faster than the 900hp P1. Keep in mind, the P1 was made to be McLaren’s fastest, most extreme car in their offered lineup and today fetches a price tag well over $1,000,000 USD.

The P1, with a top speed of 217mph, was apart of what car enthusiasts called the ‘Hyper 3’ which included the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder. All three cars had both gasoline and battery powered engines that were obliterating any other supercar on the street (with few exceptions), which is why we refer to them as ‘hyper-cars’. So how could McLaren put out a car that costs nearly $800,000 less and go faster than a P1? The answer is simple- technology. Although the 720s is only 5 years newer than the P1, supercar technology is rapidly improving. From more carbon fiber and better aero among many things, the technology in late 2017, early 2018 has allowed McLaren to surpass the P1. So why isn’t McLaren being honest about the performance? Well, how would you feel if you spent well over $1,000,000 on a P1 just to have a $288,000 car be faster? Understandably so, McLaren does not want to piss off it’s most loyal, highest spending customers so for now, the McLaren P1 remains ‘faster’ than the 720s.

What all of this means for the future of supercars is that the once thought to be impassible performance numbers on the Hyper 3 is already becoming outdated technology. If McLaren can put out a car like the 720s, we know others like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche are soon to follow. They Hyper 3 had a short, yet successful run of being the worlds most extreme hyper-cars, but the tide is changing and a new era of extreme performance and better technology will soon be taking over.

Take a look at the gallery below for additional pictures of the 720s, LaFerrari, P1 and other McLaren models.

Be sure to join the conversation and follow along on Twitter @CarZachdotCom and get the latest supercar pictures on Instagram @Car_Zach. You can now ‘like’ CarZach on Facebook!

 

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Motivation Monday: Made in America

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IMG_0197It’s Motivation Monday yet again. Check out this beautiful Dodge Viper. Absolutely love the color, and of course the exhaust note! Although Vipers are known too not handle to well, they sure do look stunning! A proud, true supercar made right here in the USA!

Stay tuned for a new article coming soon! Be sure to follow along on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! Feel free to share your thoughts!

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Review: From Sweden To The Roads of New York!

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Well here it is everybody- my daily driver! It is a 2004 Volvo S60 2.4. Now as an exotic car enthusiast this obviously is nothing to boast about. The car carries a basic 2.4 liter engine that produces 168hp. The car was purchased right off the showroom floor ten years ago and is the most basic model for the S60. Yes, I know nothing too exciting and certainly nothing to be compared with the exotics in previous posts.

Volvo, a Swedish company has always been known more for their innovative safety rather than design and performance. The company was started in 1927 and produced just a few hundred vehicles a year. Since then the company has grown and now produces many vehicle models. Volvo also builds 18-wheelers, construction vehicles, luxury busses and even sail boats. Today, Volvo sits in the entry-level luxury vehicle category although strong, and successful efforts are being made to compete with Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

My car features affluent leather seating that helps make trips of all durations pleasant. The driver seat has great electronic memory, and at a push of a button will adjust both the seats and mirrors to the drivers pre-set position. I find this very useful when I return to the driver seat after another family member has been driving. Also, the stock radio has been replaced by a simple JVC unit. This was done about a year ago, as the original tape deck in the car stopped working and would no longer accept an MP3 connection.

The installed JVC unit.

The installed JVC unit.

The car has about 138,000 miles on it, but upkeep hasn’t been too stressful. There have a been a few costly repairs, the most recent was for about $1,000 and will most definitely be the vehicles last major fix. I do find that lightbulbs seem to constantly die out; but they are a quick, cheap, do-it-yourself fix. Of course, like any 10-year old vehicle there are the average dings and dents but the car was never in any serious accidents. The S60 was purchased for just over $28,000 in 2004. Kelly Blue Book has valued the car at about $1,200 for a trade-in.

The car drives pretty well, especially in the snow. My favorite feature of the car is the “W” mode the vehicle is equipped with. What this button does is slow down the acceleration of the car making sure that the front tires (FWD) do not spin to fast on ice. I find that driving in the snow is often easy. The car does slide around on occasion but traction control swiftly corrects any issues. The car does not have any sort of rear-window wiper, which sometimes makes visibility difficult under certain conditions. I am very surprised of how well it handles the bad weather. I very rarely find myself stuck or sliding, I always feel that I am in complete control.

Notice the "W" in the top left corner. A great feature.

Notice the “W” in the top left corner. A great feature.

In dry conditions the car handles like any luxury vehicle should. The ride is pretty tranquil and outside noises are well silenced. On hot summer days, the AC works fast, cooling off the often scorching hot black leather seats. The sunroof and moonroof allow for great airflow and do not cause any unnecessary noises. In the winter, the two-level heated seats for the driver and passenger offer great warmth as does the powerful heating system. I’ve noticed that the car does have a heavy steering wheel compared to other vehicles I have driven. The car will do 0-60 MPH in a sluggish 7 seconds but I find that once the car is up to speed (about 40MPH) it swiftly responds when more power is needed. The engine even gives a nice growl as it accelerates up to speed.

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The back seats are just as opulent as the front. Leg-room is not to great, depending on the seating position up front. Although the car seats three in the back I find that it’s better off with only two people. The trunk is absolutely massive and can fit multiple suitcases, camping gear or even an inflatable kayak with ease! The headlights offer unique “mini” wipers that help keep them clean anytime windshield wiper fluid is being used.

In summary, this 2004 Volvo S60 has stood the test of time and miles. The car continues to start perfectly, and rarely has any concerning issues. The car gets decent gas milage about 18 City and 21 Highway. I would most definitely recommend a Volvo for anyone wanting a well-priced luxury vehicle. If you’re in the market for a first car, or luxurious used vehicle, I would again recommend a Volvo at any milage. The new Volvo’s are a bit more pricey at $32,000 but are very delightful and even powerful. I definitely see where Volvo is competing with top luxury brands. They offer great vehicles for often less money than other competitors! Stop by any Volvo dealer and check out their new line up; you won’t be disappointed!

Look for the wipers on the headlights.

Look for the wipers on the headlights.

A snowy drive made simple.

A snowy drive made simple.