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

Standard

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.

IMG_7416

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.

IMG_7633

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!

 

The McLaren F1 LM Revealed

Standard

As a car enthusiast there is always one question that is asked in conversion—what is your favorite car? I have been asked this question countless times by so many people and my answer has never changed. Of course, the Lamborghini Murcielago, Enzo Ferrari and Maserati MC12 come to mind, but one super-car stands tall above the rest—the 1995 McLaren F1 LM.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 Roadster.

Maserati MC12

Enzo Ferrari

Produced by the legendary racing company McLaren, the F1 LM is an extremely limited-edition version of the already insane F1 and F1 GTR. The F1 LM has modifications from the track only F1 GTR to make it street-legal.

McLaren F1 LM

It all started in 1992 when Gordon Murray designed and produced the original McLaren F1 that would be allowed on public roads. McLaren had already more than proven itself on the track, but could it compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini which were already having great success producing street cars? Well, the answer was yes. It did more than compete; it absolutely tore up any competition. From 1992 to 1998 only 106 F1 cars rolled off the assembly line in Woking, Surrey, England; only five F1 LM’s were produced. Before we even get to the performance specs, the production number instantly adds huge value to the car.

McLarenF1

The more “common” McLaren F1 boasts incredibly impressive design, power and handling. BMW and the M Sport division built Murray a custom 6.1L V12 engine called the BMW S70/8. Producing 627 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque the F1 will reach 60 mph in a blistering 3.2 seconds, 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds and will top out at 248 mph. As one can imagine, these are unheard of numbers in the nineties, and the vehicle quickly became the worlds fastest street-legal car and held the title until 2005. The naturally aspirated engine sits in Carbon Fiber body panels surrounded by gold foil for heat insulation. A reported 16 grams of gold was used in each McLaren. The limited F1 LM uses the same engine as the track-only F1 GTR; a naturally aspirated V12 producing 680 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. The F1 LM will scream to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 100 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a max speed of 243 mph. The top speed is lower on the the LM due to added aerodynamic drag.

Notice the gold plating.

Notice the gold plating.

Pop-open the enormous gull-wing doors and you’ll be quite surprised when you notice where the drivers seat is. Murray designed the cars to have the drivers seat in the middle of the car; this gives the driver a more complete F1 racing experience. It not only positions the driver in the same spot as if in a real F1 car, but it allows for much better views of the road in front. Sitting just behind and to the side of the drivers seat are two passenger seats. Yes, this astonishing super-car has room for three passengers. To make things even more intense, it’s recommended both the driver and passengers wear headphones to allow communication to the other passengers during a ride. This is due to the monstrous noise the engine makes. To save weight, little to no insulation was used to keep out the V12’s roar.

Doors up.

Doors up.

mclaren-f1-interior

All five McLaren F1 LM’s produced were painted Papaya Orange to honor Bruce McLaren and the color of his race car. There is in fact a sixth version of the LM called the XP1 LM (also painted in Papaya Orange) that is owned by McLaren and remains in the factory. The car was original promised to Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s F1 team driver if he won two world championships. Hamilton left the company in 2013 to join Mercedes-Benz after winning one world championship. Rumors have it that the car today is valued at over $4,000,000.

This super-car came far from stripped down; Murray wanted to give drivers comfort as well as performance. Each vehicle came with a specially designed lightweight 10 disc Kenwood sound system that was specifically made to tailor to the buyers music preferences. The cars do not have a radio however because Murray said that he himself barely ever listened to it. The cars also surprisingly come with air conditioning, window defrosters, electric windows and remote control locking. Inside the cabin the lucky owner will find button releases for outside panel access, a storage compartment,and courtesy lights. Also included is a gold plated tool kit, high performance headlights and reverse/fog lights.

10867640-L 10867617-L

Upon purchasing the record-setting vehicle each buyer received a custom edition Tag Heuer Chronometer wristwatch. Each car was specifically produced to the buyers’ needs and wants. McLaren flew out all the buyers to have the seats custom fit to the their body types. The seats are also non-adjustable because they too are specifically set for the driver’s ideal driving position. This of course makes finding a used F1 that much more difficult if you plan to drive it (which I hope you would).

The value of the McLaren F1 and F1 LM have skyrocketed above its original price tag of just under $1,000,000. In 2008 a McLaren F1 was sold for about $4,000,000 and in 2012 at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance chassis number 066 was sold for a record breaking $8,400,700. Although it is difficult to find an owner willing to give up one of these masterpieces, many have been offered for sale fetching from $4,000,000 all the way to $10,000,000 and above for the F1 LM. McLaren will not release the names of the owners to the public but it is known that famous designer Ralph Lauren has a collection of the cars in his personal garage. There is no doubt that the price of these cars will continue to grow in the future.

The McLaren F1 LM (middle) surrounded by the F1 (Silver) and F1 GT LongTail (Black)

The McLaren F1 LM (middle) surrounded by the F1 (Silver) and F1 GT LongTail (Black)

The McLaren F1 LM (Papaya Orange) and the F1 GT LongTail (Burgundy)

Today, it is extremely rare to see one of these monsters on public streets. I have only seen three in person and yet this has been my favorite car since I was young. My first sighting came over ten years ago at the New York International Auto Show when Mercedes-Benz had a black F1 on display. A few years a later I spotted the insanely rare F1 LM in its beautiful Papaya Orange crossing over the George Washington Bridge here in New York/New Jersey. My latest sighting came on the Long Island Expressway here in New York as a white F1 flew by just a few years ago. Unfortunately, all three sightings came and went so fast that I was unable to snap a picture. All pictures shown throughout the article have come from CarZach fans who have generously sent them over to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com. I encourage you to send in any sightings you have!

Contrary to popular thought that McLaren would never put out a “newer” F1, they did. The McLaren P1 debuted in 2012 and was limited to just 375 units. All units were sold out by November 2013 at a price of $1,350,000. In my opinion, the F1 and F1 LM will never be replaced. No matter how advanced technology gets a super-car will never be produced so pure and beautiful as the F1. I would love to hear your opinions on whether or not the P1 can truly be considered an F1 replacement. Feel free to comment on the article, tweet us, Instagram us or send us a direct email to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com.

The all- new McLaren P1

The all- new McLaren P1

Be sure to click the “follow” button at the top of the page or sign up to receive an email with our newest articles! Join over 1,000 people who follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom or join the car talk on Twitter @CarZachdotCom. Thank you to all participants who sent in their amazing pictures of the F1.

A Quick Run For McLaren

Standard

McLaren, the famed racing group, has quickly integrated itself into making high performance street cars. Starting with the legendary McLaren F1 in the 1990’s, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the early 2000’s and now the McLaren MP4-12C.

IMG_4090

McLaren has recently announced that the MP4-12C will cease production as of 2014. Don’t worry though- McLaren already has the replacement 650S ready to go and the highly exclusive, million-dollar P1 has begun delivery to some very lucky clients.

The 12C was in production from 2011 to 2014, making it a very quick run. No formal production numbers have been released by the British company, but in 2011 it is estimated that 1,000 vehicles were sold in nineteen different countries, including 500 to the United States.

IMG_4219

McLaren took the super-car world by storm with the release of 12C. The car features stunning angles that only years of wind tunnel testing could produce. McLaren had not put out its own street car since the end of F1 production in 1998 and enthusiasts began to wonder if McLaren’s street days were over. In 2009, Frank Stephenson was hired by the automotive group to head the 12C design team. After years of testing, the 12C was born.

IMG_1508

IMG_1525

IMG_0233

Sitting on a carbon MonoCell, the chassis weighs just 176 pounds. Extensive Carbon Fiber was used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight. The total product is a car hitting the scale at only 2,868 pounds. In the legendary F1, a three-person seating style was used; the driver in the middle and two passengers slightly behind and off to the side. The 12C went back to the conventional two-seater sports car but the interior is purposely narrower than most cars, bringing the driver closer to the center. McLaren, thoughtfully calls the cockpit of the car the “Driver Zone”.

IMG_0227

 

IMG_4216

 

Powering the 12C is a 3.8L V8 Twin-Turbo engine that originally produced 592hp. In October of 2013 the company decided to add some extra thrust. Offering free installation for all current McLaren owners the engine was retrofitted to produce a monstrous 616hp. All new models from 2013 on would come standard with the power upgrade. The exotic also features a seven speed dual-cluth automatic transmission. Of course the driver can manually shift gears using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. This allows for faster and more precise gear changes.

IMG_2276

With all that horsepower the 12C will sprint to 60mph in just 3.1 seconds and will scream to a top speed of about 207mph. McLaren also offers a spider version of the vehicle which comes with an automatic removable hard top. The coupe version will run the buyer a mere $239,400 while the spider goes for $265,750. A small price to pay for a truly amazing vehicle. You will be hitting the gas station a bit often as the exotic gets just 15mpg city and 22 highway; but hey, it’s a sexy car.

IMG_0223

McLaren certainly did not hold back with this exquisite exotic. Drive around anywhere and you’ll be sure to find yourself the center of attention. When the famous McLaren doors rise up towards the heavens the vehicle will show off it’s beauty. There is truly not one bad angle on this car, and not one bad color choice either. My personnel favorite being Volcano Yellow.

IMG_1527IMG_1524IMG_4215

With the sad news that the MP4-12C will halt production following the 2014 model year, McLaren is not letting anyone down. They have already released the replacement- the 650S. In fact, some are already out on public roads being tested. The replacement offers more power, and other upgrades. The coupe is set start at $265,400 and the spider at $280,225.

The king of super-cars in my opinion will always be the McLaren F1. It is my all time favorite exotic car. Although just 106 were made from 1992 to 1998, this $2 million dollar vehicle tops the list of all street-cars. In tribute to the king, McLaren recently unveiled the P1. At $1.5 million each and top speed of 218mph this is a legend in the making. Only 375 units will be made and all have been sold.

If you or anyone you know happens to drive or see a 12C, F1, SLR, 650S or P1, tweet in your pictures and videos to @CarZachdotCom on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom and be sure to subscribe via email on the left hand side of the screen or simply click “follow” in the top left corner.

IMG_4218

IMG_4056

IMG_2277