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McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence

Published:07 February 2019

McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
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By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

► Track Pack 720S driven
► Hardcore options fitted...
► ...but do they mess up a great car?

This is not the 720S-based Longtail. Until it arrives, the 'Track Pack' version is a simply track-focused options pack for the 'regular' 720S, rather than a re-engineered one designed for circuit use.

It isn't the first McLaren to get such an option pack: the 570S coupe has a similar performance-upping set of options.

So, what do I get in the Track Pack?

In time-honoured options bundle tradition, the Track Pack helps you justify the spend (£28,850) by representing better value than buying its constituent parts separately. Those parts include a spectacularly handsome McLaren Special Operations (MSO) rear wing in glossy black carbon, a sports exhaust, ultra-lightweight 10-spoke forged alloy wheels and, on the inside, lightweight carbonfibre racing seats (available in two sizes) and the option of harnesses rather than seatbelts, secured to a very pretty titanium frame.

720S track pack wing

Additional interior equipment includes McLaren's Track Telemetry system (three in-built cameras and a datalogger, to help you and your driver coach find a little more lap time), MSO carbon shift paddles and alcantara trim on your point of contact with the 720S's standout biggest asset, its sublime electro-hydraulically assisted steering.

How does this affect the 720S?

The total claimed weight saving is 24kg but the 720S's performance figures go unchanged: 2.9sec 0-62mph and a mildly alarming 7.8sec 0-124mph.

720s track pack rear tracking

So, the 720S to go for? Perhaps, particularly if your new McLaren is set to be a pulse-spiking toy first and foremost, for stolen road thrashes on fine days and a couple of trackdays in the summer. The seats will come into their own through Silverstone's brutal direction changes, and nothing makes a road car feel instantly more exciting like six-point harnesses. (Though McLarens with seatbelts don't struggle to excite, by and large.)

Sounds good to me...

Perhaps I'm missing the point here. Buying a 720S for circuit use seems a little perverse. There's no denying its extraordinary speed, grip and control, but one of its strongest assets is its clever interlinked suspension, which can switch from B-road compliant to track-ready in a heartbeat.

The race seats are non-adjustable and heavily reclined, to help you feel like an F1 driver and to create headroom for a crash helmet. But if, like me, you don't get on with them: tough.

720s track pack telematics

Meanwhile, that harness frame obliterates the 720's useful behind-the-seats luggage space, again eroding the versatility of a car that's otherwise breathtakingly capable in just about every scenario you can imagine. Put that down to a fine chassis, a thumping engine, outstanding ergonomics and great visibility – all of which are standard issue on the 720S.

McLaren 720S Track Pack: verdict

If you're all about hot laps, the track-optimised 600LT would be a better bet. And if you've decided it has to be the 720S, be clear about what you'll use the car for.

Me? I'd go for the super-light wheels (-13.9kg, £4520), the shift paddles (£1980), the alcantara steering wheel (£520) and the exhaust (-1.4kg, £4900) and put the saved money (£16,930) into financing some unforgettable pan-European road trips.

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Specs

Price when new: £253,060
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3994cc 32v twin-turbo V8, 710bhp @ 7250rpm, 568lb ft @ 5500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed paddleshift dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 2.9sec 0-62mph, 212mph, 26.4mpg, 249g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1395kg/carbonfibre
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4543/1930/1196mm

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  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence
  • McLaren 720S Track Pack (2019) review: senseless violence

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

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