It's official – The McLaren 720S is faster than the (standard) P1 around a track
McLaren’s latest super-series offering the 720S is what can only be described as a lightspeed fast supercar. I’ve been behind the wheel of one recently, and it literally blew my mind with how it delivers such massive power and speed with complete ease of use at all kinds of speeds.
Since the 720S hit the roads earlier this year, several internet commentators have theorised that it could be quicker than the McLaren truly bonkers quick P1.
Now, this theory has been proven officially correct on at least one race track with a small caveat in regards to tyre choice. In the January 2018 issue of EVO magazine (242), the team ran the 720S against the clock at the Anglesey Circuit in Wales with a staggering lap time of 1:11.5.
For reference the 903bhp hybrid V8 powered ‘Ultimate’ Series P1 ran the same track in 1:12.6 in what was confirmed to be 'near identical' conditions.
For those of you competent in mathematics, the ‘Super’ Series 720S managed to better the ‘Ultimate’ Series P1 by a whole 1.1 seconds. When you consider the gulf in price between the two cars, as when new the P1 cost almost quadruple the price of the 720S (£866,000 vs £220,000) then it makes this margin all the more astonishing.
Now for the sizeable tyre shaped caveat. The EVO team confirmed that the lap times for both cars were set using the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyre. Some of you may already know that the P1 also blitzed the Anglesey Circuit in 1:11.2 using the more potent track ready Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres. All of this translates to the 720S trailing the far more powerful P1 by only three tenths, again a staggeringly close result considering the use of stickier track special spec rubber.
The most astonishing thing though - in just four short years McLaren has given us a Super Series model that is more capable in certain scenarios than the Hypercar that came before it.
When you consider the power deficit the 720S has when compared to the P1; it makes it all the more a truly astonishing achievement in such a short period.
So what does this mean for the future of the supercar and the hypercar? With McLaren gathering pace in their development of both the BP23 and the P15 Hypercars, things can only get vastly quicker. Add to this that an ‘LT’ model of the 720S should emerge from Woking at some point in the future meaning the definition of what makes a supercar, and a hypercar will be pushed further still.
Which from the 720S or the P1 would be your pick? Or does this lap time difference have any relevance at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.