McLaren has unleashed the lighter and more powerful new 750S as replacement for the 720S, which became the British brand’s best-selling sports car after being launched in 2017.
Though heavily based on its predecessor and sporting only subtle styling changes, the new 750S is 30% new under the skin and comes with the two most important upgrades sought by sports-car drivers: more thrust and less weight. Located behind the cabin in the mid-engined supercar is a 4.0l V8 twin turbo engine — which can be put on display under a new optional glass cover — that is tweaked to produce 552kW of power (or 750hp, as denoted in the name). There is also 800Nm of torque, giving the car 22kW and 30Nm more than the 720S predecessor model.
It has also shed 30kg of weight to a class-leading low, and the improved performance figures make for good reading if you’re a McLaren fan intent on beating Ferraris and Porsches. The two-seater Brit now blitzes the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.8 seconds, one-tenth quicker than its forerunner, while the 0-200km/h time is trimmed from 7.8 to 7.2 seconds. Top speed is 332km/h. Like its predecessor, the 750S is made of lightweight carbon fibre, and the weight-shedding diet was achieved using items such as carbon- fibre-shelled racing seats and the lightest wheels yet fitted as standard on a series-production McLaren.
A carbon-fibre upper structure and composite retractable hard top ensure the Spider is only 49kg heavier than the coupé. The Spider’s roof takes 11 seconds to go up or down at driving speeds of up to 50km/h, and an optional extra is an electrochromatic glass roof that can dim or lighten to let in light.
The goal for the 750S was to increase driver engagement and performance while stretching the dynamic breadth of the car. This process focused on enhancing agility, feedback, and connection to increase the sense of fun behind the wheel, says McLaren. Harnessing the added thrust is an uprated chassis tuned to improve cornering performance. The newest generation of McLaren’s linked-hydraulic suspension — PCC III — debuts on the 750S, featuring new lightweight springs and dampers and revised geometry for even greater agility, feel, and feedback.
Other improvements include a faster steering rack, a new brake booster for improved pedal feel, and an upgraded version of McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control system, which reduces body roll in corners and improves ride quality. As before, power is thrust to the rear wheels via a seven-speed sequential shift transmission with revised ratios for better acceleration. The new McLaren Control Launcher lets drivers pick their preferred settings for aerodynamics, handling, and powertrain at the press of a button.
Drivers looking to find their inner Lando Norris (one of McLaren’s F1 drivers, in case you were wondering) can use the Variable Drift Control, which allows fine-tuning of the traction control intervention to the preferred power-sliding setting. A new track-brake upgrade combines ceramic discs and monobloc callipers derived from the track-focused McLaren Senna supercar. Step inside the cabin (via dramatic twin-hinged dihedral doors in the coupé) and you’ll find an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen that has Apple CarPlay, ambient lighting, and a wireless smartphone charger.
The cabin is updated to minimise driver distraction, with the instrument display now fitted to the steering column. The external styling is an update on the low-slung and dramatically-shaped 720S. It comprises a new front bumper with a larger splitter, bigger air intakes, and a larger active rear wing that improves downforce. We expect the McLaren 750S to arrive in South Africa at the end of the third quarter of this year, and pricing has not yet been confirmed.
• From the June edition of Wanted, 2023.