A body sculpted by wind

Motor (Australia) - - SECRETS REVEALED -


“Down­force is a big deal for us but so is ef­fi­ciency,” con­tin­ues Vin­nels. “If you take out 20kg of cool­ing sys­tem that’s a big win, and for that rea­son we’re al­ways on a knife-edge in terms of what we can get away with on the cool­ing.

“Tyres are also cru­cial, and I’m proud of the fact that we’re Pirelli’s worst cus­tomer. We give them a re­ally hard time, set­ting chal­leng­ing pa­ram­e­ters that go af­ter every­thing: tex­ture, feel, side­wall stiff­ness, re­duced weight, re­duced rolling re­sis­tance…

“All those things came to­gether in this tyre – a six per cent in­crease in me­chan­i­cal grip while meet­ing all the other ob­jec­tives.”


Whee­larch vents draw high-pres­sure air from the front wheel wells, re­duc­ing drag, while de­li­cious, or­ganic forms wrought in alu­minium fun­nel air into the dra­matic door ducts run­ning back to the high­tem­per­a­ture ra­di­a­tors.

“Clean air comes over the shoul­der there at the base of the A-pil­lar, and tur­bu­lent air flows from the lower body side. The gill idea came from early vi­sion work aes­thet­i­cally peel­ing the car apart layer by layer,” ex­plains de­signer Rob Melville. “We drew sec­tions to ef­fi­ciently sep­a­rate the clean and tur­bu­lent air.”


“We’re us­ing vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) more and more, es­pe­cially where lots of com­po­nents come to­gether, such as un­der­neath the rear wing on this car,” Melville says. “You can make mod­els of com­plex parts and plug them into the full­size clay or you can put on the VR head­set and see the end re­sult.

“The tech­nol­ogy is mov­ing quickly – I used it a cou­ple of times last week to look at fu­ture prod­uct. Imag­ine, with a new in­te­rior – you can sit in the car and eval­u­ate the in­te­rior be­fore you’ve even got the struc­ture signed off.”


“The de­sign is about clear­ing cer­tain hard points, such as the high-temp ra­di­a­tors at the rear of the doors, as tightly as pos­si­ble,” con­tin­ues Melville.

“Here those ra­di­a­tors are just 15mm un­der the skin – we ac­tu­ally chop the hous­ing away to get it even closer to the B sur­face un­der there, which most peo­ple wouldn’t bother to do. The de­tail­ing doesn’t fin­ish at the skin; it goes all the way through.”


“If you look at the glasshouse graph­ics and the ex­cel­lent for­ward and rear­ward vis­i­bil­ity, they’re pure McLaren – it would have been easy and too lit­eral to use the same graph­ics on each car we do. You can see the lin­eage, but 720S stands apart as a Su­per Se­ries car at the same time,” Mark Vin­nels said, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of prod­uct devel­op­ment.


Ac­tive rear spoiler is full­width and can de­ploy to its most ag­gres­sive, full-air­brake po­si­tion in less than half a sec­ond. As be­fore it works to op­ti­mise bal­ance as loads and forces shift, but now also de­liv­ers more down­force.


P1-in­spired front dif­fuser and open head­light

‘eye sock­ets’ ef­fi­ciently chan­nel air un­der and into the car, cre­at­ing down­force while bend­ing the on-rush­ing at­mos­phere to the will of the car’s cool­ing re­quire­ments.

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