Wel­come

Top Gear (UK) - - WELCOME - Char­lie Turner ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF @TopGearEdi­tor

When, in 2010, Ron Den­nis proudly re­vealed the MP4-12C at Wok­ing and pro­claimed that he could sci­en­tif­i­cally prove that it was bet­ter than the com­pe­ti­tion in ev­ery pa­ram­e­ter, it not only ar­tic­u­lated McLaren’s ap­proach to en­gi­neer­ing, but cre­ated a stick with which to beat its first home-grown su­per­car since the F1. Su­per­cars have to be about more than just sci­ence, they have to ap­peal to your other senses – they have to tug on your heart­strings and spike your adrenal glands. In short, they have to have soul, and, while im­pres­sive, the 12C al­ways strug­gled with its sci­ence-over-emo­tions ap­proach.

With the mid-life re­fresh in 2014 which gave us the 650S, the sci­ence was still present but the emo­tional el­e­ment had been di­alled up. How­ever, for many, the 650S was still too clin­i­cal, the re­sult of a very im­pres­sive sci­ence project, not a work of vis­ceral art. Not least when com­pared with the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Fer­rari 458 Spe­ciale. But then came the 675LT, Wok­ing’s an­swer to Maranello’s finest and a car that un­equiv­o­cally proved McLaren had not just mas­tered the sci­ence, but could de­liver soul as well.

Three years on, and the 720S ar­rives as an ar­tic­u­la­tion of the very best of what McLaren Au­to­mo­tive stands for to­day – sci­en­tific de­vel­op­ment pushed to the very bound­aries of un­der­stand­ing in the pur­suit of per­for­mance, com­bined with a deep-rooted pas­sion to de­liver more of the X-fac­tor that takes a su­per­car from “just” bal­lis­ti­cally fast to emo­tive, en­gag­ing and en­joy­able.

The sci­ence still runs deep. Take, for in­stance, Proac­tive Chas­sis Con­trol II: a sys­tem for which the al­go­rithm was de­vel­oped over the past six years by the great­est minds at Cam­bridge Univer­sity. It reads the road and pro­cesses it with a level of de­tail that re­mains in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to us mere mor­tals. But the 720S is more than a com­plex set of al­go­rithms. It de­liv­ers the vis­ceral too and it does it in a way that feels unique to McLaren and is a rolling ar­tic­u­la­tion of the in­fec­tious pas­sion of the en­tire team at Wok­ing.

Bri­tain has a proper home-grown cut­tingedge su­per­car cre­ator that is set to push the bound­aries for years to come and that is very good news for UK plc and ev­ery­one read­ing this mag­a­zine.

En­joy the is­sue,

085 McLaren 720S

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