The S ex­press

Is the best su­per­car on the planet now made in Wok­ing?

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

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

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