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McLaren 720s ownership

Discussion in 'Super Series (MP4-12C, 650S, 675LT, and 720S)' started by JAM1, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. JAM1

    JAM1 Rookie
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    Oct 22, 2004
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    I cross-shopped the Ferrari 488, McLaren 720s, and Lamborghini Huracan over the last few weeks. Here's my thoughts and the outcome:

    My search was for a car that I could use semi-daily so the ride/ergonomics were quite important, but something that also provided a high level of fun when an open road presented itself. As a bit of background I've owned well over a dozen Ferraris and a couple of Lamborghinis over the years, but no McLarens. I've always had a special spot in my heart for Ferrari and still have two today, but I've got to admit I have been a bit disenchanted with them as of late. My current ones are older (76 308GTB and 01 360 Spider) and I do expect issues with age from time to time, but it's still frustrating. Even our recent Cali and 430 Scud were pushing my buttons (batteries, stickies, trans/clutch) when we ultimately decided to get rid of both - but I cant swear them off. The first step is admitting you have a problem, and I do! On the Lambo front, I've always loved the designs and they are brutes. Both of my cars were pre-VW so I don't have much experience with the modern ones. I have never owned a McLaren. I was intrigued by the 12c and 650/675lt, but the age of the company was a concern for me along with the fact that I'm not an early adopter when it comes to pricy sports cars.

    Ferrari: I drove a 2018 GTB and found it to be a good contender. First, it's beautiful. I really do love the looks of this car more than the other three - no doubt about it. Fit and finish was also much better than their cars only 5 years ago, although I still have interior concerns with the longer term stickies and leather fit on dash and shelves considering my 2014 Cali. I did notice gaps in the carpet along a couple of panels but that could have been due to some sort of service/get ready work. I found the base seats somewhat uncomfortable. True they make different seats, but it's been awhile since I sat in one that I thought was great (550 with sport seats comes to mind - those were sublime). I also still don't like the dash or all the crap on the steering wheel. On the driving side I found the car much more enjoyable to drive on the highway then on surface streets. It's definitely powerful and tight, but it's more rigid than I was looking for in terms of a car I could live with every day and there wasn't any settings that got it to compliant. Visibility was reasonable although I had to use the mirrors more than I'd like to. The sound was uninspired and it definitely needs an aftermarket system to sound like what *I think* a Ferrari should sound like (ie, Scud with a Capristo) which really doesn't bother me since I seem to add exhaust to everything I buy anyhow.

    Lamborghini: I drove a 2017 Huracan. While I do like the way the front of the car looks, I can't stand most of the other angles - particularly the rear end. The proportions just look "off" to me, as if they squished a (beautiful) Aventador onto some other chassis. Fit and finish were very good inside and out and a lot of the Audi influence showed through. Visibility is very poor, as expected. The sound and performance was good, although the latter was not as good as the Ferrari seemed to be. I drove the all wheel drive version and attribute the difference to that in terms of handling, but it sure helped off the line. I think the Huracan probably rode nicely too, although it was well hidden because I was miserably uncomfortable in the factory installed judas chair. The seat really made the experience suffer and I couldn't wait to get out of the car. Sad because I think they are probably building a pretty good car in terms of performance/ride/reliability - but I couldn't see it fitting my needs.

    McLaren: I drove a 2018 720s last. Having never driven a McLaren in the past, I was interested in seeing how accurate the reviews would reflect my impressions of the car. Having a few models under their belt definitely made me more comfortable with the issues the early cars reportedly had, plus the 720 is said to be over 90% new compared to the 650. Initially I was mixed on the looks when I saw it in photos, but in person I think this car looks wonderfully futuristic and the proportions are great. Fit and finish were very tight. Inside I thought the seats were the most comfortable of the three cars. I had read the power settings were annoying, and they are, but I'm the only one driving the car so it should be set and left there so it was a non-issue to me once I had it set. I did find the infotainment system a bit difficult but I also figured once it was set I wouldn't care. The steering wheel is bare, and I loved it. With the cockpit style canopy the visibility was superior to the other cars I was considering, and probably to most other cars aside from convertibles. My driving impression was the car had the ability to be Jekyll and Hyde. It has three separate settings for both suspension and performance. In comfort the suspension soaked up surface streets with ease, and in sport or track it was much tighter on the twisties. I didn't play with the variable drift control but I could see that really making the car wild to drive. It's also every bit as fast as reviewers claim. From a start it grips much better than I expected it to with that type of HP, but from a roll it was insane. I couldn't help laughing because it's so strong and so linear. The exhaust is pretty quiet in comfort, and even in track it isn't loud. I understand the Fabspeed really changes the tone so I guess there's options there like with the 488. This and the Ferrari were where it's at.

    Decision time. I've read a ton on both the 488 and 720. Like most, the newness of the McLaren and the "new" use of turbos in the Ferrari did spook me, but both cars have a 3yr unlimited miles warranty so it wasn't a major concern. I think both cars were equally as likely to be reliable (or not). I'm also keeping this car at my house in Tampa so we have dealers for both Ferrari and McLaren nearby, so both were on even ground here. I also considered the depreciation - probably because of some the threads on this site. Having the money or not, nobody likes loosing a ton on a car. My take is the McLaren depreciation early on was for factors that don't apply to their newest cars. A totally new car, warranty issues that could also be support issues since their dealer network is spread out, flooding the market with EU cars due to regulation changes, rapidly changing from the 12c to 650, etc were all impactful. Long term I think the curve will settle down to "normal" for the segment - and it needs to because they need residuals to stand up so they can sell/lease these cars so I'm confident they'll get it under control. I also have to be honest with myself and look at the depreciation other high end cars take. Ferrari. Rolls. Bentley. Nobody is immune. Heck, look at the cliff dive an AMG Mercedes takes! So, I was comfortable with both cars here too.

    Ultimately I chose the McLaren 720s. While a tough choice, I felt it serves my need more in that it's comfortable and calm when I want it to be, but it's also brutally fast and fun to drive. I plan on updating this thread with my experiences with the car for those who are interested. Here's a couple of photos in the meantime...
     
  2. JAM1

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  3. JAM1

    JAM1 Rookie
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  4. JAM1

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  5. gtjoey

    gtjoey Karting

    Aug 12, 2014
    205
    I never owned a McLaren either, its fresh and new and cutting edge.
    I love mine and I'm driving to work for its first oil change, it should hit 48 degrees.....
    Enjoy that Tampa weather my friend.
    GTJOEY1314
     
  6. 1mean3

    1mean3 Rookie
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    Sep 26, 2012
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    What a gorgeous car! Love the white/black and CF detailing. Great wheels. Enjoy

    More pics please
     
  7. Rob Lay

    Rob Lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    I think you had a fair approach and analysis, congrats!
     
  8. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 Formula Junior

    Oct 13, 2015
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    Killer car. Huge fan of white on top of black/red.
     
  9. Sir_Ferrari

    Sir_Ferrari Rookie
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    Jul 25, 2012
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    Congratulations! Beautiful color combination!
     
  10. ekovalsky

    ekovalsky Rookie

    Jun 17, 2017
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    Congratulations! I think your conclusions are spot on. I started off looking at the 488GTB, also considering a Huracan and used Aventador. But I was intrigued with the 720S when it was announced, and once I drove it knew it was the right car for me. Have only had mine a week so far, after some delays at the dealership for PDI and then PPF/Ceramic, but it's been flawless so far - no malfunctions, rattles, or other issues except for one loose piece of exterior trim that the dealer will rectify when I bring it in.
     
  11. Jas

    Jas Rookie

    Mar 2, 2005
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    Great write-up OP. And the 720S in white has echoes of i8 in white. I always expected 720S to look awful in white, but having seen quite a few white ones now, I think it completely suits the car as one of the best colours for it!
     
  12. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 Formula Junior

    Oct 13, 2015
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    Glacier white is particularly stunning. A silvery white. Similar to my NSX. Really shows off the lines especially as the light starts to fade (or if it’s dreary like it always is where you are Jas ;))
     
  13. ekovalsky

    ekovalsky Rookie

    Jun 17, 2017
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    That was my choice... lots of silver, gray, and blue metallic so perceived color can change quite a bit depending on lighting. 720S looks good in just about every color but the light colors show off its lines the best.
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  14. Twosherpaz

    Twosherpaz Rookie
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    The Schumacher button on the steering wheels of the modern Ferraris make them far more compliant on a bumpy surface. It is unclear if you knew about or used that in determining the 488 rode roughly. My experience, in owning the three cars mentioned, is that the 488 rode as well if not better than the 720 over my very rough roads.
     
  15. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 Formula Junior

    Oct 13, 2015
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    All of these cars now are super compliant. My NSX soaks up bumps and road imperfections better than my i8 which I thought was comfortable. My Ferrari in bumpy road mode is nearly as good. We are truly spoiled.
     
  16. ekovalsky

    ekovalsky Rookie

    Jun 17, 2017
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    The 720S has a less compliant ride than the 12C/650S, even in comfort mode, at least with the Corsa tires. It's not punishing though. The grip with the new Corsa tires and the hydraulic independent suspension is incredible - I'd bet traction of these new Corsa PZC4 tires is nearly as good as the older Trofeo R and Cup2. These are the first Pirelli street tires I've been happy with.
     
  17. gtjoey

    gtjoey Karting

    Aug 12, 2014
    205
    I agree as Ive said many times before...this is the greatest and the LAST Horrah !!!!!!!
    In 5 years ill race you in a hybrid scooter ;)
     
  18. Jas

    Jas Rookie

    Mar 2, 2005
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    Ha ha Jo Sta7 :D Definitely pretty dreary here today.

    But yes, white works very well on any car with a lot of contrasting black bits, like my i8 :)
     
  19. JAM1

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    I did test the car using the setting, but I didn't see a significant difference - perhaps not a rough enough road. In fairness, I didn't take both cars on the exact same route and I probably should have tried to do that. I was observing how the car road somewhat rougher in a couple of uneven areas and particularly on a bridge where the "clack" of the joints was much more evident than in the 720. In Sport or Track the McLaren had a similar feel as the 488, but in comfort I found it to be a bit cushier.

    Ultimately I was close on the 488 vs 720. The power and futuristic looks pushed me over the edge, along with the fact that I've been a bit disenfranchised by my Ferraris as of late and welcomed the change a McLaren would offer in a brilliant package.
     
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  20. JAM1

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    The dealer had a Glacier White demo and I did like that too, but the crispness of the Silica White really made the angles and lines stand out to me. I have seen a number of colors in person and while I do like the flashy colors (for someone else's car), I thought the white looked the best. I was surprised because when I was on the configurator I didn't pick it thinking it wouldn't look as good in person - but it really does.
     
  21. gtjoey

    gtjoey Karting

    Aug 12, 2014
    205
    At the dealer yesterday had that original orange in the light , OMG it looks wild.
    GTJOEY1314
     
  22. JAM1

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    I saw a customer's car in McLaren orange. It's wild, but not something I'd want to live with long term. I also saw a MSO Green color in Boston - I'll upload a pic. Neat color - for someone else!
     
  23. JAM1

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  24. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 Formula Junior

    Oct 13, 2015
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    Papaya spark is really something on the car but may get old as time went on. I’d probably go amethyst black or glacier white if I specced one.
     
  25. gtjoey

    gtjoey Karting

    Aug 12, 2014
    205
    OMG THATS JUST AS WILD, NICE WITH THE BLACK WHEELS.
     

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