Jeremy Clarkson Has Mixed Feelings About McLaren’s 720S
Jezza meets Macca, and initial impressions are colder than the British weather.
Everyone’s favorite cranky old coot of a car bloke, Jeremy Clarkson, is back to give his take on McLaren’s fancy new 710-horsepower mid-engine turbocharged super car. As is the way with these sorts of things, it’s not all good. In his review for the Sunday Times, Clarkson praised McLaren for building a non-hybrid sports car nearly as bonkers-fast as the hyper P1 of just a couple years ago. The 720S is nearly as quick in a straight line as the P1, and Clarkson claims it’s faster through corners, which seems near on impossible. Compared to its competition, the 720S is lightyears ahead of Ferrari’s 488, but that’s no big surprise.
Okay, so the 720 is fast, but is it good? By the numbers it damn well ought to be. But somehow it doesn’t quite hold up in the Grand Tour host’s eyes. The brake pedal is grabby and un-intuitive, the interior is overly complicated, the car’s dynamic settings are complex, and the car’s center screen doesn’t even pass muster in comparison with a ruddy Volkswagen. Moreover, the car feels too sanitized, too lab coat, not enough mohawk.
“For the 720S to blow my frock up, it needs some P1 fairy dust. It needs a bit of humanity in the mix, a bit of childlike fun.”
This writer will go one step beyond his comments and say that the 720S is not an attractive car.
[Editor’s Note: Brad, no. Just, no.]
Clarkson says it looks better than the 488, with an off-hand misogynistic comment thrown in for good measure, but we could not be farther apart on this issue. Ferrari’s 488 is a properly good looking sports car. The 720S looks angry, disjointed, and angular for no reason. McLaren does design best when it’s simple, like the 570S or the 12C. The 720S looks like 15 different designers were tasked with designing one piece and didn’t get to peek at the others’ work to make sure it was cohesive.
It’s good at being fast, and not much else.