At 2.5 turns lock to lock, it’s never nervous but always absolutely direct enough, plus unerringly accurate, deftly weighted and offering terrific road feel.
It sets a precedent that the rest of the 720S’s chassis duly follows. Changes to the Proactive chassis control system mean that, in the softest of the three settings (now Comfort rather than Normal, because “there’s nothing normal about a McLaren”), the ride is deft indeed: softly sprung when it needs to be but offering firmer responses as roads become more challenging, as well as excellent body control and roll resistance at all times.
Flick it through Sport and Track and you get an extra dose of control to offset some of the comfort, but there’s always enough suppleness to cope with the rigours of demanding road or track use. This is a car that shrugs off mid-corner bumps like no other.
Still, it has usually been thus with McLarens.
The difference this time is that the 720S is happy to be driven on a circuit in a more liberal manner than, say, the 650S ever was. The 650S wanted you to drive it its way: trail the brakes to an apex, nail the throttle at it. That was fine on some corners, but not all, and meant it wasn’t as engaging as the 488 GTB, whose chassis balance gave you more options, more often.
The 720S still doesn’t have a limited-slip differential, but here, at last, is a Super Series McLaren that can be steered and adjusted on the throttle – and not just on it but also by easing off it.
It’s less prone to understeer than the 650S, and when it slides, it does so with more ease, breaking away more controllably and predictably. Partly that’s McLaren’s brake steer at work, allowing more power to an outside wheel to overcome grip. Partly it’s just that there is a shedload more power and torque to overwhelm the back end.
Ultimately, the 488 GTB is that bit more immediate again in its response to throttle inputs, due to what feels like sharper throttle response, plus the fact that its e-differential can more effectively meter power between the back wheels.