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Driving report McLaren 720S (2017): V8 with six-figure price

Driving report McLaren 720S (2017)
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How they tick at M cLaren is wonderfully reflected in a statement, the ex-boss Ron Dennis once handed over to the MP4 12C, the first model of the automotive company from six years ago. One could, he said at the time, scientifically prove that one had built the best sports car in the world - which, regardless of the statement and its accuracy, is a very rational view of things in a segment that thrives on irrationality. But the tenor fit, it fit the brand philosophy and it fit the models that followed - until now. Because now comes the McLaren 720S, the first episode from season two of the Super Series, the continuation of the 650S, which now underlines its high standards with entertainment.

Twin-scroll chargers pour turbo lag

The basic structure continues to follow the proven modular system consisting of two core elements. Firstly, the carbon fiber monocoque, which is lighter, stiffer and now encompasses the entire passenger cell; on the other hand, the drive combo consisting of a seven-speed double coupler and a V8 biturbo. Instead of the previous 3.8 liter displacement, it now has 4.0, from which the two loaders shovel 720 hp and 770 Nm - 70 and 92 respectively more than before. What is noteworthy, however, is not so much the growth rates as the way they unfold. Until now, power production actually had to do with shovels; the engine had to take a long swing before torque could flow into the propulsion circuit. By switching from mono to twin scroll technology, this build-up phase is now blown away. Consequence: You get the power wiped almost without warning. Foot movement, watsch!

What comes next is heaven and hell at the same time. In the back, the apocalypse chirps, whistles and rattles while you try to somehow process what is in front of you in fast forward. Long left, narrow right and a few straights in between, all of which look longer than they take. Nelson Piquet once said that Formula 1 in Monaco is like flying a helicopter in the living room, it may be anything. Darting through Lazio with a McLaren 720S is at least jet fighting in the allotment garden.

McLaren 720 S accelerates in 7.8 seconds - to 200 km /h

Only on the racetrack from Vallelunga begins to increase the relationship between speed and feelingrelax, whereby there can be no question of relaxation as such at 1.9 kg per horsepower, one hundred-zero braking distances this side of the 30-meter mark and a 0-200 value of 7.8 seconds.

But now in there. The door openers are integrated flush into the side air cannulas, click, then the 720S unfolds like a courting peacock. The wings reach - to the delight of the skull bone - into the roof, the optional performance seats grip the body like screw clamps.

The doors now give you easy access.

Let go, impression: familiar topic, new interpretation. The two rotary controls, which can each be used to set the drive and chassis in three stages, have moved to the immediate vicinity of the steering wheel, the infotainment has a telemetry app for time analysis, in places carbon fiber shimmers through the Alcantara thicket and the high-resolution peeps between the steering wheel Multifunction display, which has a higher resolution than its semi-digital predecessor and no longer fizzles when it changes optics. Good thing, and it gets even better: The whole thing can be folded away to the front, revealing a second, narrow display that summarizes all relevant information including the switching countdown in one line.

The info display has been greatly improved.

Downhill. The performance exhaust system puts a rough roar over the hissing hiss of the engine - the higher the engine speed, the more beastly. 8,200 /min., Zapp, third, zapp, fourth. The speed bands burn down like fuses, thatThe pace increases in steps of ten. Squeeze your buttocks and head for the super-fast S-curve after the start-finish. The left bend is still full, then it gets hot. Brake briefly on the hilltop and drop into the right. The Aerogrip helps you hold on to the inner crank and wind canalises you through it. The clock is around 240 when the ceramic brake compresses the 1,419 kilos for the following double right, in the course of which the three highlights of the 720S come to light one after the other.

Responsive steering, strong brakes

Point one: the brake pedal feel. It stays really nice and stiff, presses against it and regulates extremely late but sparkling clean into the ABS - a giant step compared to the 650S.

Point two: the fantastic steering. Your secret? In contrast to the competition, McLaren continues to rely on a hydraulic system. Disadvantage: more difficult. Advantage: the transfer of feeling down to the pores. You can feel every intimate detail of the floor covering, every groove, every change of covering, every fine erasure of the front wheels, the middle name of the road roller driver. Everything.

That leaves point number three: the landing gear, of which you are particularly proud up in Woking. It works without a stabilizer, instead it absorbs the body movements with the help of the dampers that are cross-connected via oil lines.

Successful roll control

The principle is nothing new, Audi uses it it has been in RS 4, 5, 6 and 7 for ages and McLaren has been using it since the MP4-12C. For the 720S, the complexity has been increased significantly. Lighter suspension struts and double wishbones, more sensors, new software. Effect: the adaptation to the road surface is faster and more targeted, which irons you more smoothly over the battered superstradas, which aligns the 720S with the road horizon as with a spirit level. Specifically: In the 650s you could still notice nodding and swaying tendencies, and you noticed how the dampers were bracing against it. Here, the countermeasures are initiated before the driver notices that something should be initiated.

Nodding movements prevent the cross-connected dampers.

Even the nasty wave between the two right-hand bends sinksAlmost completely in the kinematics, only a minimal correction, then the 720S with its newly developed Corsa-Pirellis laminates itself back on the line, ticks off the right bend and rages towards a whole cabinet of turns. Wide, narrow, even narrower, drooping - hell for understeer sufferers, which to a certain extent also included the 650S. And now? Well, the ailment is not completely cured, but if you drive cleanly, you will not come into much contact with it.

Electronics of the McLaren 720S can drift angle

Also because you can do it because of the Conditions have more to do with the rear axle. In a straight line the traction is practically inflexible, insane, considering how the part tears. When accelerating out of bends, however, thrust and lateral force mix to produce productive oversteer, which is wonderfully controllable and is even officially promoted - by the so-called Variable Drift Control, or VDC for short.

Yes, you are correct read, McLaren, the headmaster of the sports car school, is playing jokes - if Dennis only knew. Small consolation for him: You can't drift sensibly with it, simply because the interruptus always kicks in when you're swimming nicely in an angle. Nevertheless, it can be used as an extension of the ESC sports program. The drift program distinguishes 16 levels and each of them loosens the electronic suspension line a little, so that the mix of performance and entertainment can now be adjusted as desired - from success-oriented as ever to exuberant as never before.


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