It took a total of 25 years for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his very first Oscar. To give you some perspective, I was born in 1992 so since I left the womb until present, Leo has worked that long and that hard to get his moment of glory. How did he do it? Rumours and theories aside it was all due to hard work, determination and consistency. The competition was stiff and over the years he became a household name and for the best part he just became better and better and what he did, which brings me to the car manufacturer in question, McLaren.
Founded in 1985 McLaren went on to take on the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche just to name a few with a different approach. Having its origin routes planted in Formula 1 majority of Mclarens made would always be heavily focused on engineering, science, mathematics and aerodynamics, all the key components in Formula 1 til this very day. What this meant was that anyone who bought themselves a car would receive something that had incredible attention to detail top to bottom and inside out. Obsessive would be a word more appropriate.
Fast forward 32 years and many successful models later and we have this, the current flagship and most powerful car McLaren sell to date. It’s called the 720S and my goodness does it look like something out of a sci-fi movie. The car is an all new design and everything you see has a purpose and is not just for jaw dropping looks. It took me a while just to take it all in because in the flesh the car just has a presence like no other to it, pictures do not do any justice at all.
Let’s start with the most talked about part of the cars looks. Where exactly are the headlights? The lights themselves are actually not that big at all, they only take up the upper top half of the light cluster. The dark area surrounding the headlights, directional indicators and daytime running lights are a complex structure of aerodynamic genius that has one job, to keep the car running cool and being quicker through the air.
The purpose of the design is to suck air into the radiators as efficiently as possible while giving as little wind resistance as possible. In simpler terms McLaren have killed three birds with one stone, they have created a cluster that keeps the car cool, slips through the air while also housing the light instruments. Genius.
The side of the car is littered with clues to tell you that the car’s biggest weapon is aerodynamics. Every protrusion of carbon fibre slit, vent, nook and cranny have a purpose to be best friends with nature’s biggest element, the air. From a visual point of view its pure art to look at and the more you stare, the better it gets. One of the key points in the design of the new McLaren 720S is the absence of radiator intakes on the side of the car, this is replaced by the uniquely shaped doors, which channel air to the radiators that cool the engine.
To give you a better idea of what all that means and looks like, take a look at the 720S with its doors fully open. It’s only after this that you get the full extent and sheer craftsmanship of aerodynamic genius behind this car.
So it’s a serious car in the front and on the side, just pure engineering brilliance. So what powers it then? The 720S has a twin-turbocharged 4 litre V8 engine series and yes, just like the name says, it makes 720PS and 770Nm of torque. So zero to 100km/h takes less than 3 seconds! 5 seconds later the car will pass 200km/h. Yikes. Maximum speed is 341km/h. In other words, it’s fast.
Probably the most aesthetically pleasing wing on any supercar right now, the retractable wing on the 720S is incredible as it is looking. In normal mode it’s hidden and tucked away nicely, but when deployed aids with our favorite word, aerodynamics, needed for the car and can tilt up under hard braking for extra stopping power.
With the butterfly doors up you get to see how much of this entire car belongs to its carbon tub. What this means is that the whole car is one piece with the doors and bumpers being added on later for looks. This helps with the incredible handling of the car. The real wow moment is when you look closer and see how much of door space is actually taken from the cars frame, which makes the idea of making a convertible version of this easier and simpler.
The party piece of the interior is the cockpit screen which displays all your information, but should you want a more minimal approach and attention on driving the screen can be flipped down onto its side as a mini screen to only display the cars vitals.
The verdict? McLaren have made what we could say is the pinnacle of supercars right now. Could the combination of engineering and science create the most perfect car in the world? Only time can tell. From what I have seen it truly is a work of art from top to bottom and when the time comes to get behind the wheel of it, I’ll let you know just how good it is. If you’re reading this and you can afford one, it will set you back a cool R5.5 million, and yes, we all want you to go and buy one so we can perv over you in traffic.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE NEW MCLAREN HERE