The 2021 McLaren 720S is a beautifully sculpted, brutally quick, and brilliantly engaging supercar. It’s a pity that this dead-eyed, dihedral-doored machine costs more than most people’s houses because driving it is pure joy. Whether piloting the fixed-roof coupe or the drop-top Spider, their rocket-like acceleration and raucous soundtrack materialize from the same 710-hp twin-turbo V-8 feeding the rear wheels. The 720 S’s greatest hits include a 2.6-second shot to 60 mph, 1.10 g of cornering grip, and a zero-to-70-mph stop in just 141 feet. Best of all, those figures are basically interchangeable between body styles. While the McLaren’s interior isn’t as flamboyant as, say, Lamborghini’s, it indulges the driver with better outward visibility and fewer distracting controls. With the 2022 720S, it’s all about the melding of driver and car—and few other vehicles produce a purer connection.
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, McLaren makes no significant changes to the 720S lineup. It continues to be offered in both coupe and convertible body styles. Those seeking an even more track-focused version will prefer the McLaren 765LT, which boosts horsepower to 754 and further reduces the 720S’s already light curb weight.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Both the coupe and convertible version cradle a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Those totals are funneled through a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 720S coupe we tested at our track rocketed to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and reached 100 mph in 5.2 ticks. We also had the opportunity to pilot a similar version at our annual Lightning Lap, where we called it “wonderfully fun and scary fast.” We drove one on a twisting and ill-maintained road in California, where its advanced suspension was able to smooth out imperfections and the steering system was a communicative companion. The experience was further evidence that McLaren has unrivaled chassis tuning.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Since the McLaren 720S clearly isn’t a typical commuter car, it doesn’t receive the typical EPA certification. We estimate the mid-engine machine would achieve between 15 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. However, we expect its real-world fuel economy to varying drastically depending on how much time it spends with its throttle wide open. For more information about the 720S’s fuel economy.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The core of every 720S is its carbon-fiber tub that helps limit weight and ensure rigidity, all while protecting passengers. Contained within this lightweight structure is a two-seat cabin that caters to the driver. While its interior design is less flashy than rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini, the aesthetic is pleasing, and outward visibility is excellent. Sure, it can be a pain to escape from the low-slung seating position, but that’s standard supercar procedure. Instead, the cabin can be outfitted with a variety of premium materials and bespoke options. Don’t expect ample space to store small items in the 720’s cabin but at least there is a luggage compartment under the hood.