RE: McLaren 720S Track Pack: PH Trade-Off

RE: McLaren 720S Track Pack: PH Trade-Off

Sunday 18th November

McLaren 720S Track Pack: PH Trade-Off

Half the prodigious cost of the new track-focussed McLaren gets you into a heck of a Ferrari. Tempted?



Imagine, if you will, that you've a pressing appointment at the Casino de Monte Carlo. Lunch, this Wednesday, let's say. Happily, that gives you a couple of days to spend getting there, perhaps taking in a track day you've heard about at Paul Ricard on the way, and returning via the glorious twists of the Route Napoleon. Bliss.

Such a trip seems like the kind of thing the McLaren 720S Track Pack, which we drove earlier this month, was made for. While the standard 720S could never be accused of being dull, the extra bits you get with the Track Pack just make it feel that smidge more special; the carbon-fibre seats hugging you closer, the harness bar adding a hint of circuit-flavoured aggression, and the super-light alloy wheels aiding the ride quality, even if only fractionally. This, in short, is a car designed to lap a track happily for hours on end, but also to deliver enough pliance and convenience to get you there and back in complete comfort, too.

So what to pick as our half-priced used rival for this week's Trade-Off? Indeed, does it even matter? After all, if you can afford a six-figure sum to spend on your next car, chances are you can probably afford one that starts with a two. That said, few people ever got rich by throwing their money away needlessly. When the sum we're talking about saving is in the order of £113,000, that's a fair old slice of cash the McLaren must command. And that's before taking depreciation into account.


Even so, to compete, we're going to need something that feels every bit as special. Ideally with a track-happy edge to it, too. And that latter criterion is why our minds at first turned to the Porsche 911 GT3. It'd seem to be the obvious choice: similar track bias, but as in the 720S, blended with the sort of road-friendly maturity that'll allow you to take in longer trips without irritation. And of course, the 911 GT3 is, without hyperbole, one of the best drivers' cars there is on the market today.

Trouble is, it can't quite match the flamboyance of the McLaren, nor its sense of occasion. Granted, the GT3 is one of the most special 911s there is - but it's still a 911, and that, for some people, just won't cut it as a rival to a fully-fledged, mid-engined supercar. So we'll have to do better - perhaps with this Aston Martin DB11? It certainly ticks the 'special' box, with that thumping V12 engine. This one's a Launch Edition, too with rarity on its side. But the DB11's far more of a big GT than the 720S - so while you'll enjoy it on the wafty bits of the trip, it won't have the McLaren's hardcore edge on the track.

Which is why, in the end, we selected this Ferrari 599 GTB. "It's easy when you want it, insane when you need it." So spake Chris Harris of his own 599 GTB. In other words, the 599 is about the only car for this money that gets close to matching the 720S Track Pack's blend of edgy focus and consummate usability. It's also the only thing that can compete with the 720S's innate supercar-ness, replete as it is with a front-mid-mounted V12 that pastes out 620hp. Yes, that's 100hp down on the Macca, and that does mean the 599 is 0.7 seconds slower to the 62mph benchmark - but given the fabulous noise it'll be making on your way there, do you really care so much?


This one can even match the Track Pack's carbon obsession, fitted as it is with the optional carbon-backed bucket seats, carbon brake discs and carbon steering wheel. There's a smattering of additional options, too, and it's done a very reasonable 28,000 miles, backed up by a full Ferrari service history. It's the right colour scheme for a Ferrari, too, and the best part is that you'll save yourself a few grand from even our half-price budget - it's priced at a piffling £109,995.

So, what say you? Save yourself £120,000 and enjoy a bona-fide Fiorano flyer? Or spend the lot for the joy of owning a brand-new McLaren - and one of the best out there, at that? Well, if it makes any difference to you, we know where our money would be going. All on red, please.


SPECIFICATION - MCLAREN 720S TRACK PACK

Engine: 3,994cc, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed SSG, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 720@7,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 568@5,500rpm
0-62mph: 2.9sec
Top speed: 212mph
Weight: 1,419kg (fluids + 90 per cent fuel, 1,283kg dry because it has the lightweight options fitted!)
MPG: 26.4
CO2: 249g/km
Price: £224,700

SPECIFICATION - FERRARI 599 GTB

Engine: 5,999cc V12
Transmission: 6-speed automated manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 620@7,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 448@5,600rpm
0-62mph: 3.6sec
Top speed: 207mph
Weight: 1,753kg
MPG: 13.3
CO2: 490g/km
Price: £109,995




Author
Discussion

E65Ross

Original Poster:

21,529 posts

148 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
Kind of chalk and cheese cars. Both nice but as a hypercar the 720S knocks the Ferrari for six!

Robert-nszl1

219 posts

24 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
These 599s are getting very tempting. Hard to see them depreciating by more than £50k over time, maybe not even that. 550s bottomed in the mid £40ks, so add a bit of inflation to that. Yes, expensive to maintain, but a lot of car none the less. No idea how it would be compared to the Mclaren, seems a very different proposition.

av185

7,176 posts

63 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
New v old always makes a kind of bizarre essentially irrational comparison.

Oilchange

5,185 posts

196 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
Irrelevent comparison imo but both lovely cars. If I could afford them then either would be a hoot.

Vee12V

749 posts

96 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
It's the Ferrari for me any day of the week.
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big_rob_sydney

2,166 posts

130 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
The question seems to be; what car will go fast, but more importantly, what will also win the snob factor?

How fking shallow are some people?

E65Ross

Original Poster:

21,529 posts

148 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
The question seems to be; what car will go fast, but more importantly, what will also win the snob factor?

How fking shallow are some people?
No more shallow than those who think the above seems to account for everyone.

Gameface

5,908 posts

13 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
I cannot think of another car on which I have revised my opinion of so much as the 720S.

I thought I was absolutely hideous on release, but now it's fantastic.


406dogvan

5,295 posts

201 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
Don't 599s have a reputation for being a bit - erm - well - not really that great to drive?

Spiky, twitchy - gearbox with a mind of it's own - it will feel pretty crude compared to a modern Mclaren

That might be the point, I suppose - I like how the 599 looks but they're not really comparable

For one thing - the McLaren will lose in a week what the 599 will lose in your entire ownership ;0

big_rob_sydney

2,166 posts

130 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
E65Ross said:
big_rob_sydney said:
The question seems to be; what car will go fast, but more importantly, what will also win the snob factor?

How fking shallow are some people?
No more shallow than those who think the above seems to account for everyone.
Jesus, are you retarded, or what? Do you not know the difference between "SOME" and "EVERYONE"?

sleepera6

4,494 posts

33 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
Eh? 720s vs 599? I’d be comparing to a 430 Scuderia or a Challenge Stradale

Cold

5,690 posts

26 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
A pressing appointment in Monte Carlo. I think I'd take the plane.

Gandahar

6,013 posts

64 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
sleepera6 said:
Eh? 720s vs 599? I’d be comparing to a 430 Scuderia or a Challenge Stradale
They are special editions, the 720 is not.


The 599 and F12 are both fantastic cars that don't have a premium hike for being flavour of the month and following a traditional depreciation curve for a Ferrari. Hope that continues. Both hidden gems compared to all the limited edition cars from all manufacturers.

And being front engined you don't have to pay for that special ball bag from the manufacturer to make sure they are safe when you start to punt it along in the UK's interesting roads and weather.



Edited by Gandahar on Sunday 18th November 15:25

wtdoom

3,612 posts

144 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all
599 for the engine alone , wouldn’t bother with the Mac at all . 7 days from now there will be a track pack 2 , then an lt , then an t track pack etc etc

greenarrow

1,450 posts

53 months

Sunday 18th November
quotequote all

Ah, the lovely 599. For some reason almost forgotten now, but one of only two Ferraris ever to win EVO Car of the Year!

I keep thinking these 599s are good value. Wont get much cheaper but in ten years you can see the current respective prices of these two cars swapping places, maybe less than ten years, based on the deprecation curve of the MP4-12C !!

I love McLarens, but their development pace is too fast really, models are obsolete so quickly, it wont be long before a 750LT comes along to push this 720S into the shade. It does stack up well to the 488GTB however.

Iamnotkloot

218 posts

83 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
On a totally shallow note; I don’t like 599’s in red, they need to be grey. So therefore it’s the orange Mac for me.
Told you I was shallow.

dunnoreally

217 posts

44 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
Maybe I'm just getting old, but I find myself looking at these track-focused supercars and thinking that, with my level of """talent""", I'd probably wind up after the first track day with a place on three internet fail compilations and a 5-figure bill for a new back bumper.

I've enormous respect for that Macca and anyone who can get the best out of it, but I'm far too aware of my own limitations to want one myself.

Davey S2

11,982 posts

190 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
dunnoreally said:
Maybe I'm just getting old, but I find myself looking at these track-focused supercars and thinking that, with my level of """talent""", I'd probably wind up after the first track day with a place on three internet fail compilations and a 5-figure bill for a new back bumper.

I've enormous respect for that Macca and anyone who can get the best out of it, but I'm far too aware of my own limitations to want one myself.
+1 For the trip in this scenario I'd be perfectly happy in a 991 GTS Targa. More than enough performance and roof down to enjoy the drive along the Route Napoleon.


High Roller

63 posts

109 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
"After all, if you can afford a six-figure sum to spend on your next car, chances are you can probably afford one that starts with a two"

So if you can afford to spend £100K on a car you can actually afford to spend £200K? What absolute rot! Who writes this cr4p?

Edited by High Roller on Monday 19th November 13:01

Robert-nszl1

219 posts

24 months

Monday 19th November
quotequote all
Just thinking about this, wouldn't a better comparison be a 2013 12C? Bit over 600hp and for the money you can get a low mileage 5 year old example. Head the article, 'Is it really worth suffering the depreciation'. I bet to mortals the driving experience probably isn't that different, and both have challenging looks (12C bland, 720S a bit odd)....