Prior to McLaren unveiling the 720S a couple of years ago, there were rumors that the talk of a series-production McLaren faster than the P1 hypercar had upset buyers who shelled at upwards of $1 million for what was the British company’s flagship rival to the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.
Their concerns were understandable. After all, the McLaren P1 was only released a few years before the 720S and word about the 650S successor being faster than the hybrid hypercar could have caused P1 values to drop. But, were these concerns really valid? Is the McLaren 720S actually faster than the P1?
Motor Trend recently got their hands on the supercar and while it’s far from the first comprehensive review we’ve seen of the 720S, it is still worth a watch.
The most important test of the bright blue 720S happens at the Big Willow circuit at Willow Springs. Prior to the McLaren hitting the circuit, Motor Trend’s lap record around the circuit was held by the Porsche 918 Spyder at a blistering 1:23.26. So how did the McLaren go? Extraordinarily well. In fact, the 720S demolished the lap record with a remarkable 1:21.75, a full 1.8-seconds faster than the all-wheel drive, near-900 hp Porsche 918 Spyder.
Racing driver Randy Pobst says one of the key reasons why the 720S is so fast around a circuit is its beautiful aero balance that eliminates virtually all understeer and oversteer during high-speed cornering. He also says that the car puts its power to the ground far better than most other rear-wheel drive performance cars.