I unleashed McLaren’s new $300,000 supercar on a racetrack and it answered the greatest concern about the car

McLaren 720S Benjamin Zhang

McLaren makes supercars. Darn good ones at that.

After dipping its toes in the supercar game for a couple of decades, the Woking, England-based outfit decided to dive in head-first seven years ago with the creation of a dedicated road car division — McLaren Automotive. 

In 2011, the nascent supercar maker rolled out their first offering — the MP4-12C. The MP4 dash 12C was a car of immense capability — packed to the gills with the wisdom and technology the company’s Formula One team had accrued over half a century at the pinnacle of motorsports.

Sadly, in spite of its 592 horsepower turbocharged V8 engine, advanced carbon construction, and the wind-tunnel-sculpted body, critics found the car to be soulless.  It’s a damning accusation for a new player in the supercar game. After all, this is a business built on convincing well-to-do customers to part with obscene sums of money. And the most effective tool for a supercar salesman is to play upon passion, emotion, and sex appeal.

Since then, McLaren has worked tirelessly to rectify the shortcomings of the 12C. In 2014, it was redesigned to create the 650S that would form the company’s "Super Series" — the heart of its road car business.  One year later, the all-conquering 675LT raised the bar even further. Every new car following their initial effort has been made louder, more intense, and more visceral in its execution.  

Unfortunately for McLaren, this hasn’t been enough to quiet many of the critics who feel the company’s cars are still too cold and clinical when compared to its warm-blooded Italian counterparts. 

All of this brings us to McLaren’s latest offering — The 720S. It’s the first vehicle to emerge from the company’s second generation Super Series. But a quick conversation with McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt and it becomes abundantly clear that the company believes the 720S’s design, technology, and performance is so much more. 

However, the question I wanted answering was whether the 720S could finally put an end to the complaints about McLaren’s decided lack of emotion.

Recently, Business Insider traveled to Italy to attend the launch of the 720S. As part of the experience, McLaren allowed us to unleash the car around the fearsome corners of the Autodromo Vallelunga. 

Here’s how it went.

(Business Insider paid for travel and lodging associated with this trip.)

SEE ALSO: I drove the $300,000 McLaren supercar designed to beat Ferrari — and it was incredible

To launch the new 720S, McLaren set up shop at the Autodromo Vallelunga just north of Rome.

Following a spirited drive from our hotel in Rome to the circuit…

…. I was greeted by a fleet of new McLarens upon my arrival at the track.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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