Sequels don’t come much bigger than this.
Whispers within the walls of McLaren Automotive’s Woking headquarters suggest the new 720S – a replacement for the 650S – is considered by many to be the most important car in its maker’s modern history.
In succeeding the 650S, it becomes the first car to replace a model in McLaren’s line-up and it’s the first of 15 new-generation models promised by CEO Mike Flewitt by 2022.
Therefore, with bold sales targets and a new £50 million UK chassis factory recently unveiled to help realise McLaren’s ambitions, there is a huge weight of expectation on the 720S.
The mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive supercar – codenamed P14 – was actually conceived alongside the development of the 650S and promises to encapsulate the very best elements from McLaren’s illustrious line-up: the usability of the 570GT, the thrills of the 675LT and, perhaps, the pace of the P1 hypercar.
The 650S – itself a glorious mutation of (but not a replacement for) the admirable but imperfect MP4-12C – has been comprehensively reworked, including a complete rethink of the structure of the car, to create the 720S.
The new carbonfibre chassis, dubbed Monocage II, now incorporates an upper structure and chassis surround, making the car stronger and lighter than the 650S, and aerodynamic efficiency is double that of its predecessor.