08 Dec McLaren Beverly Hills 720s Unveiling
By way of comparison, the 720S accelerates more quickly than the mid-1990s McLaren F1 – the most iconic McLaren in history and a benchmark supercar. The F1 has slightly longer legs at the top end, but more owners are likely to experience the bursts of acceleration than the ultimate top end.
McLaren uses a one-piece carbon fiber monocage which is the skeleton of the car. The monocage tub incorporates knowledge and experience from McLaren’s exotic P1 road car as well as from the Formula One team. The result is a foundation for the car that is stiff and light. The suspension, brakes and giant Pirelli tires work together to provide nimble handling. A 7-speed automatic transmission manages the task of putting the power to the ground via the rear wheels.
“A phenomenally put together event by The Orca Group, McLaren Beverly Hills and the Peterson Automotive Museum.”
The 720S makes use of a variety of electronic aids to optimize performance. A fleet of sensors are deployed to all nooks and crannies of the car to feed real-time information to the electronic brain. Traction control, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and launch control help to corral the car’s performance and keep it on the pavement. Drivers that wish to vary the interference or assistance of these aids can make use of what McLaren calls Variable Drift Control. (No, the feature doesn’t automatically transform the driver into a power sliding, drifting social media sensation.)
With all of this performance, the 720S is McLaren’s mid-range offering and labeled as its “Super Series.” The entry level – if there is such a thing as an entry level McLaren – is the “Sport Series” currently anchored by the 570 and 540 models. The highest McLaren level is currently occupied by the P1 supercar which ended its limited production run in December 2015.
The styling is unmistakably McLaren, but also unmistakably an evolution. The headlights and nose are more angular and less rounded than the 650S. The headlights themselves share space with a large triangular pocket at the front corners that includes aero scoops to funnel air through the car’s radiators. Other recent McLarens have featured a large scoop along the flanks leading to the rear wheels but that has given way to a smoother rear look and openings behind each of the front wheels for the 720S.
The distinctive doors pivot on double hinges upward making quite a styling statement and allowing easy access in and out of the cabin. The visibility is remarkable, partially due to the carbon fiber tub that cuts down on the need for bulky pillars around the driver. A rear spoiler stays integrated within the rear deck until needed when it deploys upward into the wind. It is not as exaggerated as the P1 rear spoiler, but the family resemblance is clear.
As the P14 is the first of fifteen planned McLaren models over the next 5 years, The Auto Gallery, McLaren Beverly Hills and the Petersen Museum could become very busy holding release parties. If the 720S represents the kind of significant step forward that McLaren intends with its future models, there will be plenty to celebrate. The Speed Journal thanks The Auto Gallery and McLaren Beverly Hills for the invitation. A phenomenally put together event by The Orca Group, McLaren Beverly Hills and the Peterson Automotive Museum.