The S express
Is the best supercar on the planet now made in Woking?
If you’ve got £218,000 for a supercar (and our test model we drove in Rome was specced at nearer £300,000 with extras), it’s probable you’ve got one or two more practical cars in the garage, too. Or even one or two more garages. And within this portfolio, the supercar role might be reserved for the occasional Sunday morning B-road thrash or just looking pretty on a noisy splutter outside Harrods.
It would be a shame, almost a tragedy, to imagine such a fate befalling one of the 1,200 or so McLaren 720S’s sold this year. Such is the breadth of this car’s capabilities that if it was yours you’d need a pretty good reason not to pick up the keys every time you went out.
After all, an engine with 710bhp which can make grown men make involuntary astonished gasps purely through the speed of its gear changes shouldn’t feel so easy and plain normal pottering about in start-stop traffic while you casually look for the cup holder. A chassis that in the right hands can be guided
around a track with F1 precision and hit a quarter-mile in 10.3secs, but can adapt its ride to the roughest potholed roads in Europe.
A design which looks aggressive and insect-like, incorporates twin-skin doors and air-cooling front lights, where no curve or line is without an engineering reason, but has a cabin that feels relaxed, comfortable and enough leather to spend a whole day in without needing to be peeled out by an osteopath. In short, that a car so astonishingly fast can be so damn approachable.
OK, it won’t be too handy on the dump trip or school run, but the boot at least takes two cabin bags and those insane gull-wing doors are less mad when you realise they also open up rather than out for tight city parking. Even the new roof panels and improved visibility make three-point turns less likely to result in a six-figure insurance claim.
No wonder McLaren is finding customers are tending to put more miles on the clock than it first imagined. Remember, too, it’s a company only founded in 2010. In fact, so young is the road car part of this marque, that this is the first time it has directly replaced a model in its line-up.
If Surrey seems an unlikely place to be making a claim of home to the world’s greatest car, it’s less surprising to find the people there are very proud at what they’ve pulled off. But also wondering where to go from here. cars.mclaren.com