McLaren 720S Track Pack: Driven


It says something of the rapid rate of progress at McLaren that the plain old 212mph Super Series is in danger of being forgotten. Alright, perhaps that's a little facetious, but think of the McLarens we've seen since the second-gen Super Series' launch just 18 months ago: Senna, Speedtail, 600 LT. That's in addition to the expansion of MSO's remit and the burgeoning customer motorsport programme; time moves fast in Woking, so best keep up.

Therefore the Track Pack 720S feels as much about keeping the line up fresh and relevant as taking the car onto another plane of performance. Consider it more like a 911 GTS or similar, rather than a diet LT, where the most popular options are bundled together in one added value extras pack for less than they would cost individually. That's the theory, at least. Keen readers will notice there's not a power gain for this circuit minded option; that said, this is a car that'll do 0-100-0mph in less than 10 seconds - surely only lunatics could covet more.


Despite a general cynicism and weariness about the tangible benefits of track focused paraphernalia, there's no denying - irritatingly, because it proves us wrong - that clambering into the Lightweight Carbon Fibre Racing Seat and seeing the titanium harness bar behind does put you right in the mood. Chiefly that's because those seats grab and squeeze and clench everywhere, seemingly making any additional restraint by harness redundant, though there's something as well in seeing a slab of scaffolding that makes the atmosphere feel... racier. There's an argument to say the Track Pack is more of an experience before moving anywhere, which has to be a good sign. Or rather, it would be very hard to imagine sitting in one and then opting for a cheaper car with regular seats and without the bar. Sounds silly, but we all know how important subjective charm is to a car purchase - especially supercars.

You'll know by now that the 720S has great vats of objective ability to support the aesthetic, the Track Pack just better sets a slightly more aggressive tone to appreciate it. While less hardcore than something Longtaily or from the Ultimate Series stable, it's no exaggeration to say that a regular Super Series with some choice options can still feel pretty berserk on the public road. Consider it this way: the power of this McLaren is equal to an E39 M5 plus a Civic Type R together, while weighing only a few kilos more than the latter. It has 200hp more than a Ferrari F50. 720hp is just about three times that of a Golf GTI Performance, all through two rear P Zero Corsas a relatively modest 305mm in width.


So, yeah, there's the potential for that to feel a bit wild and unruly - which it can, with clumsy inputs - but the genius of the 720S has always been in how relatively accessible and usable its outrageous performance seems. Because the car is so trustworthy and the feedback so transparent, it feels far more approachable than its layout would ever suggest; that hasn't changed for the Track Pack, of course, though it's a trait that feels worth highlighting again.

Perhaps the biggest dynamic change for this car is the introduction of the 'Super Lightweight' forged wheels, which must contribute a decent chunk of the 24kg saving. Of course such a minuscule total amount is impossible to detect in a car of this power and weight, though, if pushed for an opinion, the ride probably does benefit from the reduction in unsprung mass. In the Comfort and Sport settings of the Proactive Chassis Control dampers - Track still a tad jiggly and restless for a B-road - there's a sliver more compliance and suppleness than on the heavier wheels. We're talking minute improvements here, naturally, and given the ride was pretty exemplary beforehand it's not a transformation, but seems worth pointing out. They look fantastic, too. Another option worth having...


Broadly speaking then, the 720S is the Super Series we know and love, made a tad more desirable in key areas through judicious option box ticking. You were expecting some kind of surprise? The hydraulically assisted steering remains fantastic, aided here in terms of experience by an Alcantara wheel; the V8 blare is certainly distinctive - if not truly musical - but made more interesting by the sports exhaust; and, while certainly up for debate, the carbon accents of the Track Pack might make this the most appealing 720S yet to look at.

Put simply, this feels like the car you'd probably spec, with McLaren taking the hassle away from having to do it on the configurator - with that fetching titanium bar thrown in, and all for less than the options cost. Win-win, right? Certainly it warrants inclusion and sits comfortably as part of the Super Series line up, the regular 720S still there to be taken down the 'Luxury' line of specification as any owner wishes (the Track Pack derived from a 720S 'Performance'). The Track Pack doesn't undermine the existence of the standard car, and vice versa - for now it probably represents the best and most desirable 720S, for PH tastes that is, on offer to buyers.


However, there is a significant caveat. You want a roadgoing McLaren with a track slant? There's a 600LT, assuming they've not yet all gone. And, to be brutally honest, despite an older interior and engine, the Sports Series feels a more special object and driving experience. As it justifiably should, being the Longtail flagship rather than a mere option pack, but it's hard to think of much where TP significantly surpasses LT - beyond getting you to scarier speeds in less time. This Track Pack is the best 720S McLaren currently on sale, but the 600LT is the best car it currently makes - Senna included. Really that just leaves a very tricky decision to one more prospective McLaren owner. Lucky sods. 


MCLAREN 720S TRACK PACK - SPECIFICATION

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












 

 

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Comments (57) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Iamnotkloot 01 Nov 2018

    Looks lovely and it’ll obviously be stellar to drive.....but can McLaren please develop a new engine? Like a musical one, like a V12......you could even cut out the development costs and just re-engineer the F1’s, no-one would complain.

  • The Surveyor 01 Nov 2018

    Iamnotkloot said:
    Looks lovely and it’ll obviously be stellar to drive.....but can McLaren please develop a new engine? Like a musical one, like a V12......you could even cut out the development costs and just re-engineer the F1’s, no-one would complain.
    This is just a option on the standard 720s, offered as a 'pack' at a discounted collective price, thankfully it's not a 'new' car.

    The last thing we want to see from McLaren is another new car, and the last thing I want to see from McLaren is a V12. The current Riccardo V8 is a stella engine and delivers performance in spades, it's a turbo engine, it sounds like a turbo engine, and performs like one. If you want music, spec the Bowers & Wilkins stereo.

  • daveco 01 Nov 2018

    Iamnotkloot said:
    Looks lovely and it’ll obviously be stellar to drive.....but can McLaren please develop a new engine? Like a musical one, like a V12......you could even cut out the development costs and just re-engineer the F1’s, no-one would complain.
    I agree but that engine is 25 years old now.

    It only took Ricardo 1.5 years to produce the V8, a modern naturally aspirated V12 would probably require less development in relation to cooling etc.

    Lamborghini and Ferrari are producing reliable 800hp V12 engines without turbos, surely McLaren want a piece of that pie??

  • mikey k 01 Nov 2018

    A while back I drove a 720 on the road, along the same route on the same day I also drove a 650 and a 675LT.
    I came away feeling the 720 was ballistic and stopped so quick, but, it felt detached and probably too fast for the road.
    I ended up upgrading my 650 to a 675LT, that thing is also ballistic but feels a lot more connected and "talkative".
    A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon chucking a 720 Track Pack round Silverstone with an instructor.
    In Track/Track mode it is more mental than the 675, completely different to "normal" mode on the road.
    Question is could you use it in Track/Track on the road with out losing your licence in the first 100m?
    I'd like to find out, maybe time to get a loaner from my dealer?

  • hondansx 01 Nov 2018

    So i'm confused, where does this fit price wise with the 600LT?

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