McLaren's great white shark - the ferocious new 720S

McLaren's great white shark - the ferocious new 720S, Autos McLaren

LONDON: Seven years after McLaren returned to making road cars, the British firm has unveiled the new 720S, its latest lightweight Ferrari-baiter.

This is a ferocious supercar with a 710hp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine powering the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic box.

The contours of the gull-wing 720S are distinctly McLaren and the company says its design was inspired by the great white shark.

McLaren's great white shark - the ferocious new 720S, Autos McLaren

“A beautifully sleek yet brutally efficient hunting machine” is how the company describes its automotive creation.

The 720S is a replacement for the 650S, which it outperforms on the tarmac: The new car bounds from a standstill to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.9 seconds and will charge ahead until 341 km/h is reached. The top speed is only legal on the limitless stretches of Germany’s motorway network.

Another feature adopted from the 65OS is a kind of “Jekyll and Hyde” switch which allows the driver to alter the car’s character by turning a dial.

Various modes are offered, including Drift for sliding around the turns under power through to Comfort, Sport and Track settings. A touchscreen infotainment system is standard and the digital gauge cluster vanishes in the dashboard when Track mode is engaged.

The coupe version of the 720S goes on sale this year, with an open-top spyder model in the pipeline for 2018.

McLaren's great white shark - the ferocious new 720S, Autos McLaren

The new McLaren aims to be sporting and practical at the same time, which means it is now easier to clamber inside. The doors now open wider and the sills are thinner. The narrower A-pillars mean visibility is now much improved.

Buyers can expect to pay around US$285,000 (RM1.2mil) for the base model of the 720S and orders for 1,400 examples have already been received. This is more than the factory can fabricate in the course of 2017, so many customers will have to be patient.

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