When the 720S dials up to 11, the 2024 McLaren 750S dials up to 12

By | February 26, 2024

mclaren 750s the drive americaslas vegas, nv February 2024 mclaren750s thedrive americas 0325jpg

2024 McLaren 750S Starts with the 720S, goes upBeady eye

  • Latest McLaren improves almost everything compared to the 720S from which it is derived.

  • Power has increased by 30 hp to 740, torque by 22 lb-ft to 590.

  • Available in coupe or spider, starting at $331,740.

The new McLaren 750S takes everything you loved about the 720S and makes it even better.

Now, if you wanted to be a brazen cynic desperately trying to impress passersby at your local Cars and Coagulants with your insider knowledge, you’d say, “It’s just a 720S, you know…” and let your voice trail off as passersby trying to ignore you because you’re missing the point!

Why remake the whole thing when you can just improve the things that make a great car even better? That’s the essence of what McLaren has done with the new 750S seven years after the debut of the 720S.

“The goal with the 750S was to take the supercar as a reference and really raise the bar,” says chief engineer Sandy Holford, who may have the best job in the world. “We focused on improving agility, feedback and connection, and that feeling of fun behind the wheel.

a yellow sports car on a roada yellow sports car on a road

Suddenly I’m craving papaya…McLaren

“We’ve combined the best elements of a 720S and the 765LT, combining the fun factor of our longtail products with real everyday usability. This has expanded the car’s capabilities to cover an even wider dynamic range, from comfort and versatility to ultimate track performance.”

Those last three things – comfort, versatility and excellent track performance – were what I would experience during a long day behind the wheel of this modern marvel.

The engine is an evolution of the M840T twin-turbo V8 that debuted on the 650 and can even trace its roots back to the MP4 12C (and even earlier to the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Nissan R390 GT1 intended for Le Mans).

They upped the boost pressure, added lightweight pistons, two fuel pumps, “custom calibration” and installed a three-layer head gasket to hold it all together. Power now stands at 740 SAE horsepower (750 DIN, hence the model name) and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 30 hp and 22 lb-ft over the 720.

This is linked to a seven-speed SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) with double clutch and a 15% shorter final drive. Thanks to the shorter final drive, the car sprints to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds, compared to 2.8 seconds for the 720S. It also means that the top speed drops from 340 km/h to 206 km/h, but we all have our crosses to bear.

The carbon fiber MonoCage II tub, aluminum profiles and the doors, glass and roof have been carried over, but the bodywork at the front and rear has been further optimized to combine maximum downforce with the lowest possible air resistance. Suspension geometry has also been carried over, except the front pickup points are six millimeters wider.

The steering ratio is quicker, while the springs are 3% softer at the front and 4% stiffer at the rear. Both the dampers and the Pro-Active Chassis Control III have also been ‘optimized’ for better response and performance.

Curb weight is down 66 pounds to 3062, but that’s measured on the European DIN scale, so ours will be slightly heavier.

You now have a choice of three tire models for your 750S. While you could only get the Pirelli P Zero and the P Zero Corsa on the 720 S, you now have a choice of: Pirelli Trofeo Rs for powerful driving, the P Zero for street comfort and the Pirelli Corsa “for a really good kind of hybrid.” in the middle, a tire that gives you wet performance or a sportier tire if you want one tire to do it all, and you also want to drive it every day, then the Corsa is a good option,” Holford said.

Taken together, all those changes add up.

the interior of a carthe interior of a car

A new interior greets the driver.McLaren

“A lot of things have very, very small but meaningful changes that, each on their own, wouldn’t amount to anything. But when you put them all together, they deliver the package and the result,” Holford said.

Indeed they did.

On a street ride, the 750S felt completely comfortable inside. The switching mechanism for adjusting the Active Dynamic settings has been moved to the dashboard, where you can adjust them without taking your hands off the wheel. The gauges mount directly to the steering column, so they remain in your line of sight while you adjust the steering wheel.

Even the button to raise the front for speed bumps is now conveniently mounted up and left on the dash. The seat reclined as much as I wanted, and visibility in almost every direction was good. They even added little windows in those breathtakingly elegant rear pillars.

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The long and winding road leads to your garage door…McLaren

My loaner car was a coupe, which I prefer because I wither and die in direct sunlight, but there’s also a Spider available, with a top that raises or lowers in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 50 km/h. That’s a Cars ‘n’ Coffee party trick.

In the desert it’s easy to accidentally end up in the triple digits, so smoothly and effortlessly does the car climb to final speed. On a public road, far from traffic, you get a feeling of greater refinement behind the wheel, as if the 750S is more composed than the 720 – less, dare we say, harsh?

And on the track it’s everything the 720 was, but more. McLaren rented out the infield road circuit at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a track that I consider to be the best infield road circuit within an oval of such an existing configuration. It’s easy and clear where to go for a smooth, fast lap. It’s not much of a challenge for professional racers, but it’s great for almost everyone.

The setup was a sort of mid-range that McLaren described as Sport, as Track mode was said to be better on brand new, flat surfaces for billiard tables. Sport not only added a comfort factor, but also likely resulted in faster lap times on the commonly used surface at LVMS.

The extra power made itself known with slightly higher speeds at the end of the front straight, while the extra 22 lb-ft of torque was felt all around the track. Step on the brakes and the big, papaya-orange rear wing flips up to block your rear view and help you slow down.

The brakes get a new booster and vacuum pump for better performance, while you can also get carbon ceramic discs and monobloc front calipers from the Senna.

Once up to speed, the new front splitter and larger active aero rear wing ensure that the 750S is pressed against the asphalt like a spatula on a baking tray.

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If it looks fast when you’re standing still, you should see it moving!Beady eye

The 750S is so good that it’s one of those supercars that immediately reminds you that it can do a lot more than you can. But if you persevere, you will find that you can do much more than you thought. Go ahead, dive deeper into that corner, the brakes are ready. Turn harder into that corner and the car stays in line without a hitch.

Lap after lap, the more familiar you become with the simple layout of this fun course, the 750S is there to meet your new demands. The brakes never faded, the engine never faltered in its power and torque delivery, and the car even remained comfortable while racing on the track.

If you get one of these, and you really should, you should take it to a track regularly. Track riding is completely different from speeding in your favorite canyon. You can really feel and appreciate all the technology that goes into cars like this, even though there are few like it.

The obvious competitor is the Ferrari, one of the recent mid-engine V8 models, from the F8 Tributo and SF90 to the 296 GTB. It’s still a step ahead of the ever-improving Lamborghini Huracan. It remains flatter and is possibly faster than the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, although I would like to try them back to back just to be sure.

But the sticker price will deter all but a few from buying one. Prices for the coupe start at $331,740 including destination, and $352,740 for the Spider. My car (mine for a few hours) cost $421,400 with lots of options – well worth it if you’re willing to drive it as hard as it was designed to.

For other purposes, sunset cruising or posing at Cars and Carbunkles, it will succeed as well as anything out there.

Where does the new McLaren 750S are you among the supercars vying for your affection – and dollars? Comment below.

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