I had thought about a creative title to cultivate intrigue as you lot scroll through my immense amount of dribble…however I thought I would forego the witty wording and stick to the point!
Why we are all here? I think most importantly, to view the unveiling of the brand new McLaren 720s followed by some light reading of the night and my impressions of the car first hand.
Starting the night off with two of my closest friends we set out for Auckland city early to avoid the notorious city traffic, which to our surprise, proved to be almost none existent and whisked us into the city earlier than we had planned. As we scratched our minds as to what to have for dinner, we discussed what we thought the car would be like following the development of the other models such as the 650s, 650s spider and the mesmerizing yet potent 675LT! General consensus was that the 720s was going to have to punch above its weight here and McLaren would have had to produce something more refined like the MP4C with a sharpness of the 675LT.
Burgers were decided for dinner and as we hurriedly ate our food the anticipation had set in and moods soared because in less than an hour our senses would be overwhelmed by mechanical mastery…or so we hoped! Fast forward the mundane bits and we found ourselves like 3 kids on Christmas morning standing in front of the Christmas tree that would be Auckland McLaren’s showroom entrance. A burly bouncer with a misleading demeanor and a inviting smile asked us why we were there and thankfully our “We were invited” reply stirred the positive reaction of him opening the door rather than a negative one which we did not care to find out about.
Entering Auckland McLaren’s show room the vastness of this private event struck us a fair bit as everyone was in suite and tie with the women generally presented in gorgeous dresses that I cared none for but looked great none the less. Champagne, beer, juice and amazing finger food (oysters, steak cuts, chicken nibbles to name a few) were a plenty and served by lovely people who floated around the whole showroom effortlessly all night along with their brilliant bar staff made for the topping on the already immense experience. Greeting us as we waded through suites and gowns was the pièce de résistance draped in flattering black fabric to extenuate its sensual curves…not a woman sorry but more so I am talking about the car! Two more were presented to the crowd, one closer to the street and one tucked away in the workshop section to ensure everyone was allowed ample time to sample and soak in the greatness that would be waiting for them.
As the 3 of us waited in anticipation the minutes flew by and finally the guest speakers took to their podiums to present to us the reason and envision for designing the new car to McLaren’s stables. Emotive words were said and I think the main aim was to drive home the passion behind this car, yet to also make potential buyers fall in love with the car even more so than they already would be. Finally it was upon us, the moment everyone had been waiting for…
With the covers off we got a first hand look, feel and experience of the car and what can I say…McLaren you have done an incredible job in evoking the heart with this design. From the carbon eye pods with built in ducts to the double skinned silhouette that encompassed the sides through to the defined and aggressive rear, this car is everything we hoped it would be and more. Headlights that draw you in due to the recess design and makes you appreciate the carbon weave details, the channeled air guide through the door section and double skinned design that sees you slide your hand over a sensor on the air guide to unlock the door all the way to the beautifully sculpted wing and P1 -esque tail lights, this car screams soul.
the aggressive yet some how elegant curves of the car follow through to a flowing and functional cabin with more than ample room for taller people and beautiful carbon showing on the pillars to remind you of the carbon tub that you are sitting in. Rich leather that feels supple and perfectly designed button layouts remind you of the finesse you are paying for and the carbon clad steering wheel…well you know it was laid to perfection when you see the weave flowing effortlessly to a tight couture.
Surprisingly though, closing the doors on the 720s you feel secure and well enclosed however not cramped or pushed for space which sticks with the statement of this car being able to be driven every day if chosen so, and with the seamless body design, all round vision is nearly perfect with a huge reduction in blind spots even with a large wing and engine in the back. Literally the whole design philosophy of this car being able to be driven every day was right on the money with all the creature comforts and safety features you would expect from a lesser car, yet with the brute power when needed that only McLaren could deliver.
I think to me, the one interior party trick that really knocked me for six was the folding dash display. Selecting a normal driving mode gives you a digital display of the usual required information like speed, RPM, oil and water temps odometer and gear position, however throw that ‘Track’ mode switch and the display folds down into a recess and displays only the essentials: Speed, gear position and RPM. As possibly gimmicky sounding, I absolutely loved it as did the rest of the group.
Thankfully a sound test was carried out by the ever so kind Luke who is the sales manager at Auckland McLaren, and it did not let down one bit. Hearing it pop and burble followed by that high resonance wail as Luke poked the happy pedal to 4000 RPM made for the icing on a might fine cake. A sound clip can be found by clicking HERE
With the unveiling done and the experience etched into my mind, I wondered around and pondered over the black McLaren 720s and loved every detail just because I am a fan of black cars. The carbon rear diffuser looks elegant and then starkly matched by the flowing yet bold wing, carbon adorns the front lower air guides on the front bumper and that transgresses into the carbon mirrors, carbon side air guides into the engine and the carbon clad roof/door panels which all in all just highlights the beauty in simplicity, yet drives home this car is nothing short of a technological powerhouse.
Time got the better of the 3 of us and soon we were finding our way out of the showroom we would have loved to stay the night in and on the way home. With jovial discussions on first impressions the general consensus was the cabin was rich in comfort and feel with amazing care taken right down to the stitching and button layout and with the central touch display freeing up enough cabin space to ensure no jostling for arm position on those morning coffee runs. Falling in love with the exterior was a given since we all gushed over the 675LT exhaust placement on the 720s with the expansive wing and P1 design tail lights bringing the whole rear end together in aggressive glory, the front profile looks better in person with appreciation to the carbon headlight pods being first and center in focus.
Overall I think we can all agree that the McLaren 720s is another leap for the car manufacturer and on behalf of 3 awe struck individuals a massive thank you to Auckland McLaren for the exceptional night, one that will remain a highlight of my year personally.
|MAXIMUM SPEED||341KPH (212MPH)|
|MAXIMUM POWER||720PS (710BHP)|
|MAXIMUM TORQUE||770NM (568LBFT)|
|TYPE||4.0 LITRE V8|
|TECHNOLOGY||TWIN ELECTRICALLY-ACTUATED TWIN SCROLL TURBOCHARGERS, DRY SUMP|