Vehicles Design

McLaren 720S personifies the blend of extreme performance and crafted luxury to mark the dawn of a new era for the McLaren Super Series

McLaren 720S introduces the second-generation Super Series


“Super Series is the core of the McLaren business and personifies the blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury and unparalleled driver involvement that is the McLaren heartland. This is the first time we have replaced a product family and the new 720S is absolutely true to McLaren’s pioneering spirit in being a revolutionary leap forwards, both for our brand and the supercar segment.”

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive 

Key Points

  • New McLaren 720S introduces the second-generation Super Series, the product family at the heart of the McLaren brand
  • New mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater McLaren supercar is successor to the 650S Coupé
  • Stunning new interpretation of McLaren design language and dedication to aerodynamic principles, personifying the brand’s extreme performance DNA
  • Carbon fibre chassis based around Monocage II central structure is key to the 1,283kg lightest dry weight and unparalleled interior space and visibility of the new McLaren 720S
  • Luxurious, driver-focused cabin, featuring the finest leathers and aluminium switches
  • New 720S delivers outstanding driver engagement, with double the aerodynamic efficiency of the 650S and a new generation of McLaren’s active chassis system, Proactive Chassis Control II
  • Drivers choose from Comfort, Sport, or Track modes to deliver the driving experience they want
  • Signature McLaren electro-hydraulic steering ensures purest levels of driver feedback
  • Widest breadth of dynamic capability of any McLaren, ranging from precise, controlled comfort to the most extreme handling prowess
  • New, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine produces 720PS and 770Nm, with a power-to-weight ratio of up to 561PS per tonne
  • 0-60mph takes 2.8 seconds (0-100km/h 2.9 seconds), with 0-200km/h (124mph) reached in 7.8 seconds
  • Braking from 200 km/h to standstill in 4.6 seconds, covering 117m
  • Maximum speed of 212mph (341km/h)
  • Strong development focus on fuel efficiency, resulting in 10.7 litres/100km fuel economy in the official combined cycle and 249g/km COemissions (NEDC)
  • Deliveries of McLaren’s new supercar will commence in May, with retail prices starting at an average of just 5% more than the list price of its McLaren 650S Coupé predecessor

One of the key points in the design of the new McLaren 720S is the absence of radiator intakes on the side of the car; this function is carried out by the unique ‘double-skin’ aerodynamic form of the dihedral doors, which channel air to the high-temperature radiators that cool the mid-mounted engine. 

The new M480T engine powering the 720S continues the lineage of McLaren’s multiple-award-winning, twin-turbocharged V8 engine series. This new 4.0-litre engine generates a maximum of 720PS and up to 770Nm of torque, delivering truly astonishing levels of performance: standstill to 100km/h (62mph) takes less than 3 seconds and just 5 seconds later the car has passed the 200km/h (124mph) mark. Maximum speed is 341km/h (212mph). Braking is equally impressive, the new 720S coming to a halt from 200km/h (124mph) in just 4.6 seconds, covering 117m. And the efficiency goes beyond velocity –the new McLaren 720S delivers 10.7 litres/100km in the official combined fuel economy cycle and CO2 emissions of 249g/km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). 

McLaren’s expertise in carbon fibre structures – every road car built by the British manufacturer since the McLaren F1 in 1993 has had a carbon fibre chassis – underpins the construction of the new 720S; the architecture of the car is based around a new carbon fibre ‘tub’ and upper structure, the McLaren Monocage II. This technology delivers extreme strength and rigidity in a lightweight structure – the ideal base for any supercar. A range of aluminium alloys are also used extensively in the chassis, as well as for some body panels. 

Technical Specifications

Engine configuration

M840T engine, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc

Drivetrain layout

Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD

Power PS (bhp/kW @ rpm

720 (710/537) @ 7,500

Torque Nm (lbs ft) @ rpm

770 (568) @ 5,500


7 Speed SSG


Independent adaptive dampers, dual wishbones, Proactive Chassis Control II (PCC II)


Carbon Ceramic Discs (F: 390mm R: 380mm)

Wheels (inches)

Front: 9J x 19; Rear: 11J x 20


Front: 245/35/R19 93Y (XL); Rear: 305/30/R20 103Y (XL)

Length, mm (inches)

4,543 (179)

Wheelbase, mm (inches)

2,670 (105)

Height, mm (inches)

1,196 (47)

Width, with mirrors, mm (inches)

2,161 (85)

Width, mirrors folded, mm (inches)

2,059 (81)

Width, without mirrors, mm (inches)

1,930 (76)

Track (contact patch centre), mm (inches)

Front: 1,674 (65.9); Rear: 1,629 (64.2)

Lightest dry weight, kg (lbs)

1,283 (2,828.5)

DIN Kerb weight, kg (lbs) [fluids + 90% fuel]

1,419 (3,128)

Luggage capacity

Front: 150l; Rear: 210l

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0 -60mph

2.8 seconds

0-100 km/h (0-62mph)

2.9 seconds

0-200 km/h (0-124mph)

7.8 seconds

0-300 km/h (0-186mph)

21.4 seconds

0-400 m / ¼ mile

10.3 seconds

Maximum Speed

341km/h (212 mph)

200 – 0 km/h (124mph – 0) braking

4.6 seconds/117 m

100 – 0 km/h (62mph – 0) braking


2.8 seconds/29.7 m



CO2 emissions [NEDC]

249 g/km

Fuel consumption – EU mpg (l/100km)



Extra urban


10.7 l /100km

15.8 l /100km

7.9 l /100km

Advanced carbon fibre body architecture 

“The carbon fibre Monocage II structure at the heart of the new McLaren 720S provides exceptional rigidity and strength with low weight, enabling the strikingly thin pillars that are key to the futuristic design and excellent cabin visibility. Overall, this is a car that combines technology and beauty in perfect harmony.”

Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development, McLaren Automotive 

  • Monocage II delivers entire passenger cell, including the upper structure, in carbon fibre.
  • Lightweight architecture is key to achieving a power-to-weight ratio of 561PS-per-tonne, in lightest dry weight form
  • Monocage II structure also allows the new McLaren 720S to be optimised for everyday usability, with low sills and generous door opening space enabling effortless cabin access

A carbon fibre structure, Monocage II, is at the core of the 720S.  This lightweight architecture capitalises on McLaren’s expertise in carbon fibre construction, which dates back to the ground-breaking MP4/1 Formula One car of 1981 and includes every road and race car produced since.

Using structural technology pioneered in the McLaren P1TM, Monocage II provides an inherently strong, stiff, and safe passenger cell. In contrast to the MonoCell construction of the first-generation Super Series models, where the integrated structure stopped below the glasshouse, Monocage II incorporates the roof. 

Finished in a satin lacquer, the state-of-the-art architecture is showcased as soon as the driver lifts the dihedral door. The windscreen pillars can also be specified with the carbon fibre weave of the Monocage II structure visible if an owner prefers, in conjunction with other areas of the structure. 

Carbon fibre provides a remarkably stiff and rigid structure and the huge strength of the Monocage II carbon fibre upper structure has allowed McLaren designers to specify strikingly slim roof pillars. This delivers excellent visibility through the deep, broad windscreen and, together with B-pillars that are positioned rearwards on the cab-forward cockpit, contributes to a sensation of exceptional space. This is further enhanced by transparent, glazed C-pillars and a large rear screen, which also help to deliver over-the-shoulder visibility that is peerless among supercar rivals. 

The inherent strength of carbon fibre also ensures exceptional occupant safety in the event of a crash. Depending on the severity of the impact, the carbon fibre passenger cell is typically undamaged. Powertrain and suspension components are mounted on lightweight aluminium subframes that absorb crash energy and improve repairability and cost. 

The Monocage II is one of the reasons why the new 720S has a lightest dry weight of just 1283kg (compared to 1301kg for a comparable 650S Coupé), but it is not the only area where McLaren engineers have pared down weight; the electrical system is 3kg lighter than that of the first-generation Super Series, the braking system saves 2kg and the structural airboxes 1.5kg. The new suspension also delivers a significant weight-saving, being 16kg less than the system on the McLaren 650S.  

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No rival weighs so little, and none can compete with the 720S’s outstanding power-to-weight ratio of 561PS-per-tonne in lightest dry weight form. Removing significant mass from the highest section of the vehicle also lowers the centre of gravity by 3 per cent compared to the 650S, contributing to the benchmark handling excellence of the new McLaren 720S. 

McLaren’s determination to make the new Super Series as easy to live with as it is dynamically thrilling was at the heart of the development programme throughout. The sills of the 720S drop down dramatically where the occupants’ feet swing in and out of the luxurious cabin. The exquisite dihedral doors hinge dramatically forwards and upwards as they open, taking a portion of roof in the process. Together, these features ensure a generously wide aperture for occupants entering or leaving the cabin and the door action also facilitates easy access to the luggage area behind the seats. 

The doors feature an 80-degree angle of opening and require 155mm less space per side than is needed to fully open the doors of a McLaren 650S. This increases accessibility when parked in tight spaces, especially in close proximity to a wall, and the doors also open to only 1,953mm high, an important factor in underground parking spaces. 

Exceptional new 720PS 4.0 V8 engine 

“The new 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged, M840T V8 engine marks a revolutionary step forwards for McLaren, with lighter internal components and new twin-scroll turbochargers contributing to huge increases in power, response and efficiency. A 720PS engine that delivers just 249g/km CO2 in the NEDC is unrivalled in the supercar class, and beyond even our own ambitious expectations at the start of development.”

Haydn Baker, Vehicle Line Director, McLaren Super Series 

  • New 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 delivers new heights of performance
  • New M840T produces 720PS at 7,000rpm and 770Nm from 5,500-6,500rpm
  • Power and efficiency increase by close to 10 per cent compared to 3.8-litre V8 engine in McLaren 650S
  • Stop/Start functionality helps to achieve exceptional fuel efficiency of 10.7 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 249g/km in the NEDC, performance that is unrivalled in the supercar segment
  • 41% of components in the engine are all-new, including cast aluminium inlet plenum; lighter pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft; twin-scroll turbochargers with fast-spooling turbines to improve throttle response; and electronically controlled wastegates and dump valve.
  • Seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox delivers even faster, sharper shifts during high-performance driving, as well as extra refinement at low speeds

An incredibly potent and highly efficient new 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine powers the McLaren 720S. Codenamed M840T and mid-mounted for exceptionally pure handling, the McLaren-designed, twin-turbocharged engine produces 720PS and 770Nm – huge gains of 70PS and 92Nm respectively over the 3.8-litre engine in the predecessor 650S Super Series cars, achieved with a capacity increase of only 195cc. 

With the significantly greater power and torque – and further aided by the decrease in vehicle weight –the new 4.0-litre engine gives the McLaren 720S a thrilling power-to-weight ratio of 561PS-per-tonne in its lightest dry weight form. This comfortably exceeds the still-impressive 485PS-per-tonne output of the 650S and gives the new 720S best-in-segment power-to-weight performance.

Crushing acceleration of 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds, 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 2.9 seconds and 0-200km/h (0-124mph) in 7.8 seconds puts the new McLaren 720S in pole position in the supercar performance league. On the way to a maximum speed of 341km/h (212mph), the standing quarter mile sprint is dispatched in 10.3 seconds. Despite the dramatic gains in accelerative performance, fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions have also improved in comparison to the McLaren 650S, respectively by 1.0 litre/100km in the combined cycle and 26g/km under the NEDC. 

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The new M840T has a 41% component-change compared with the 3.8-litre M838T V8 engine, which continues in McLaren Sports Series models. All major components were assessed for potential enhancement and a significant number have been substantially upgraded. New, lighter pistons and connecting rods, and a stiffer, lighter crankshaft contribute to enhanced responsiveness from an engine with bore unchanged and piston-stroke increased by 3.6mm. 

The turbochargers and intercoolers are completely new. Specified with lightweight turbines capable of 160,000rpm, the ultra-low inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers are evidence of the determination of McLaren engineers to increase responsiveness as well as outright power.  The wastegates and dump valve are electronically controlled to actively manage the build-up of power and torque from low rpm, contributing to improved engine efficiency and emissions control.  New Port Fuel Injection doubles the number of injectors from eight to 16, the twin-injector solution improving fuel nebulisation and delivering improved combustion and lower emissions. 

A new cast aluminium plenum bearing the McLaren Speedmark logo is visible through a mesh cover and is illuminated on vehicle unlocking, celebrating the pursuit of unrivalled driver engagement and enjoyment that was a key focus throughout the development of the new McLaren 720S. Throttle response – both on- and off the throttle – has been calibrated to deliver the optimum blend of immediate reaction and progressive control, ‘hardwiring’ the driver to the powertrain and ensuring absolute connectivity and involvement. Under full acceleration, power delivery continues to build relentlessly throughout the rev range, encouraging the driver to hold each gear all the way through to a thrilling 8,100rpm in first and second gear and 8,200rpm in the next four gears. 

The characterful soundtrack from twin exhaust outlets has been engineered to deliver similarly intoxicating engagement, with a soulful, clean and crisp exhaust note achieved through a sophisticated balance of harmonics and delivering a crescendo characteristic according to engine rpm and load. A sports exhaust with a unique tailpipe design and an even louder and more emotive soundtrack is available as an option. 

A dual-clutch, seamless-shift gearbox with paddleshift controls delivers power to the rear wheels, and can either shift between the seven gear ratios automatically or defer to the driver having full manual control. Transmission software developed in-house by McLaren maximises the gearbox’s performance strategy, with quicker shifts enabled by ignition-cut and downshift speed further enhanced by the lower inertia of the new engine. A launch-control function delivers 2.8-second 0-60mph runs, reflecting the overall experience of sharper, faster gear changes quicker than achieved by a McLaren 675LT and creating a deep sense of mechanical connection between car and driver. 

The character of the powertrain can be further tailored, with a choice of Comfort, Sport, or Track modes linked to the dynamic behaviour of the vehicle. This enables powertrain and chassis performance to be perfectly matched, delivering on demand ferociously quick gear changes or more relaxed shifts to match a gentler driving style.

The sophisticated supercar driver environment 

“The new 720S has been designed to meet and exceed the extreme performance expectations of the most demanding supercar owner, but it also has a driver environment that is incredibly light, airy and sophisticated, with peerless space, excellent all-round visibility and superb comfort.”

Emilio Scervo, Chief Engineer, McLaren Super Series 

The driver is the centre of the action  in the new 720S, with an advanced electronic interface and best-ever ergonomic performance

  • McLaren’s most sophisticated and luxurious interior to date, with cabin design mirroring the organic, flowing forms of the exterior
  • McLaren design engineering expertise has delivered a driver environment that is unparalleled in the supercar sector in terms of visibility and a feeling of space
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The driver is the centre of the action in any McLaren, but in the case of the second-generation Super Series, their requirements are met in ways well beyond the usual dynamic performance attributes. The cabin of the new McLaren 720S is a sophisticated, luxury environment that is the most welcoming in the supercar sector.  The perception of space is simply extraordinary and will be immediately apparent to owners of first-generation McLaren Super Series and other supercars alike. 

All the surfaces have been pushed as far away from the occupants as possible and the engineering ability to deliver a glazed C-pillar has made a significant contribution to the feeling of space. Not only is there room for two people to sit in comfort, there is also space behind the seat backs for two soft holdalls or airline carry-on luggage bags – equivalent to 210 litres – in addition to the 150 litres under the front panel. 

The new 720S can call on more than simple interior expanse to delight owners. Even the simple act of approaching and entering the car has been fastidiously considered: unlocking the new McLaren Super Series engages a ‘Welcome Sequence’ that consists of mirrors unfolding, indicator lights sweeping and courtesy lighting coming on, as well as illumination of the engine bay, bathing the cast-aluminium air intake plenum with McLaren Speedmark logo on top of the engine in red light. 

Opening the door triggers a second sequence of events that sees the Folding Driver Display deploy and the operating system come to life both on this display and the central infotainment screen. Together, these two high-definition screens comprise the McLaren Driver Interface – an advanced, integrated new way of sharing information with the driver that is designed to be immediately familiar to McLaren owners, but runs on an entirely new system architecture developed in conjunction with JVCKENWOOD. 

In Full Display Mode, the Folding Driver Display presents the required array of information on an upright, high-definition TFT panel, with three different layouts and colour variations depending on whether the car is being driven in Comfort, Sport, or Track modes. At either the touch of a button, or automatically if linked by choice to the active dynamics functionality, the display slides down to Slim Display Mode. In this position, only the minimum of required information is displayed in a strip, further improving forward visibility and allowing the driver to place the car even more precisely in a corner. This is an ideal condition for drivers wanting the minimum of distraction, for example when extending their 720S on a track. 

The primary hub for interaction between a driver and their new McLaren 720S is the Central Infotainment Screen, an 8-inch display with rich crisp graphics that presents the vehicle’s electronic functions to suit driver preference. Audio, media, navigation and other convenience features – such as mood lighting colour – are all controlled using this screen, which has applications displayed on a vertical carousel as well as several dedicated quick-access keys, with climate control functions permanently visible across the bottom of the screen. 

One of the driver engagement features on the 720S that is expected to generate significant owner-interest is McLaren Track Telemetry. The latest version of this real-time data capture application, which has been completely redesigned for the new 720S, now features measurement of throttle angle and lateral/longitudinal G-force in addition to timing and speed measurement. A driver can set up a track session using the central screen and then complete the laps and analyse the data, including sector times within a lap.

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Summary telemetry and live timing data can be viewed in the Full Driver Display during driving, aiding track performance by placing data directly in the driver’s eyeline. More comprehensive information, including G-maps, throttle position and full lap history, is available from the central screen, Track Telemetry Cameras can record laps from inside the cabin. All telemetry data collected can be downloaded to an external medium for detailed review after driving and the video footage can be analysed alongside the data to allow drivers to perfect their skills by reviewing their performance. 

Driver and passenger sit as standard in sports seats that support and cosset in equal measure – this is a car built for distance-driving as well as short journeys – and owners can choose to replace the standard leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with colour-matched, carbon fibre enhanced or Alcantara® options.

All the switches and controls in the new 720S cabin are as precisely engineered and tactile as they are visually appealing, with form and functionality in perfect harmony. As well as providing significantly-improved ergonomics compared to the experience in a 650S, switches are machined from solid aluminium, in keeping with the air of sophisticated luxury evident throughout the interior, ensuring that drivers enjoy the ambience of their environment as much as they do the driving experience. 

In addition to the expected suite of comfort and convenience features, the McLaren 720S is available with parking sensors, a reversing camera or ’birdseye’ 360-degree park assist. All cameras are high-definition. The audio capabilities of the new 720S have been designed with music aficionados in mind, with a Bowers & Wilkins-branded system available as an optional upgrade over the itself-excellent four-speaker system that is standard-fitment. The all-new, high-power system, which has been developed specifically for the 720S by Bowers & Wilkins, features the premium audio specialist’s trademark central tweeter for incredible sound fidelity as well as Kevlar mid-range speaker cones, and – because this is a McLaren – even carbon fibre woofer cones, which provide ultra-clean bass reproduction.

The new 720S is available in three grades of specification, with Performance and Luxury trims extending above the standard level. Additional options are available individually or in a range of ‘option packs’. Leather features extensively across the range of interiors, with British luxury leather specialist, Bridge of Weir, providing hide. Alcantara® is also used as a trim material, combining a technical, sports feel with a luxurious tactile finish.

An extensive range of carbon fibre parts – both interior and exterior – are available as options for owners wanting to personalise their new McLaren 720S and there is of course always the possibility of engaging McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to produce a truly bespoke car.

The exterior colour palette comprises 20 colours, including different greys, whites, blues, and reds – plus of course, McLaren Orange. Seven of the colours are newly developed for the 720S. Owners wanting to explore hues beyond the standard offering can again turn to MSO for an almost infinite range of colours.

Normal service intervals for the new 720S are one year or 20,000 km (12,400miles), whichever occurs first. New vehicles will be covered by McLaren’s Vehicle Warranty, which covers the vehicle for three years from purchase without mileage limitation. Paint surface is warranted for three years; visible cosmetic corrosion for five years and perforation corrosion of the vehicle body for 10 years. 

The new 720S is also eligible to be covered by the McLaren Extended Warranty; available from time of first purchase in 12 or 24 month periods until the vehicle is 10 years old, the warranty makes it possible to cover a 720S for up to 12 years.



Raffaele Schiavullo
the authorRaffaele Schiavullo
ADMINISTRATOR - Senior 3D/Virtual Reality Specialist and Automotive HMI developer - Working in London and "insanely" passionate about technology and its creative applications


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