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.
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.
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.
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