17 March 2024

McLaren 720S First Impressions (6 years too late)

Last week, I wasn't planning on stopping by my local dealer, McLaren NJ, on my way home from a morning drive. I caught up with Michael and Tevyn, who was shocked to hear that I had never driven a 720S (or any P14 car) and immediately offered a test drive. Only a fool would reject such an offer…

We hopped in a CPO 720S coupe with around 3k miles on the odometer and off we went!

720S specific comments:

  • The coupe door cutout helps a lot with ingress/egress. For some reason, I did not open the door enough on my way out and hit my head. Oh, the irony…
  • The visibility is INCREDIBLE. The two biggest changes I noticed compared to a P13 (570 platform) car are thinner A-pillars and a lot more rear visibility, thanks to the C-pillar glass.
    • My hot take is that the door roof cutouts plus the C-pillar glass are reasons to get the coupe over the spider.
  • The steering wheel has this lovely metal trim. I also really liked that this car had the small and clicky metal paddles instead of the longer carbon fiber paddles.
  • For some reason, this car was not equipped with an electrically adjustable steering column.
    • The sofas are still rock hard. Seat controls are still at the front of the seat on the side near the center console.
  • Steering heft feels approximately the same as a 570S/570GT, which is lighter than that of a 600LT or Artura.
  • As with Artura, steering+chassis seems to have filtered the smaller road imperfections, i.e. higher signal-to-noise ratio. This made the ride feel significantly more refined, but less exciting for my taste.
  • The trick hydraulic suspension really does wonders for ride comfort. I'd rate the ride in comfort mode about as well as that of a Lexus ES!
  • Carbon brakes bite _hard_.
  • I'm not sure how to describe, but the engine note under acceleration is less "aggressive" than that of the 570/P13 car.
  • No engine drone at highway cruising speeds!
    • I distinctly remember being disappointed by this during my (preproduction) Artura test drive back in June 2022 and Tevyn said that production cars don't drone.
  • The surround view parking camera is mediocre. The mirror video stream stitching is not cohesive with the front and rear cameras’.
    • Tevyn told me that the surround view camera is much better in the 750S. I forgot to try it when I drove the Artura a couple years ago.

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