If there’s a car to highlight just how impressive McLaren Automotive’s comparatively short story has been so far, it’s the 720S. Just six years after the manufacturer was born as a proper functioning division, the 720S didn’t just close the gap to its competitors, it shook up the whole segment. With 720hp from a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and an ultra-effective new aerodynamic profile, it had the outright muscle to overtake the Ferrari 488 GTB – and remained on par with its chief rival even when the more extreme Pista version was launched.
Costing £208,600 at launch, the Super Series model is wonderfully rounded, with scintillating handling befitting the technical evolution of McLaren’s small but ever-expanding road car lineage. It’s both savagely fast and supremely communicative, with a motor that’s more responsive and elastic than the old 3.8-litre unit. At one moment the 720S feels like a road racer, the next it can be a docile cruiser. It really did raise the supercar bar in a way few could have imagined, and ranks as an engineering marvel of the last decade. And thanks to the powers of depreciation, you can get a used one from just £140k.