McLaren 750S delivers its latest benchmark in supercar performance
By Mike Huynh
British supercar marque McLaren continues to push the boundaries of its flagship offerings with the debut of the new 2024 McLaren 750S – the lightest and most powerful series-production model to date.
Arriving in both coupe and convertible variants, the 750S is an evolution of its 720S predecessor which it bears a striking resemblance to. Beyond the familiar silhouette though is a host of engineering enhancements designed to satisfy the sharpest driving purists. This is achieved through the latest advances in weight-saving measures, powertrain performance and aerodynamics which continue to push the platform’s limits to new heights.
Talking about the inspiration behind the 750S, CEO of McLaren Automotive, Michael Leiters, explained the need to close the gap between driver and machine.
“When you have a car recognised by so many drivers as a benchmark, to do something even better you have to examine every detail and really push hard for improvements that raise the bar again. This is what we have done with the new 750S and the lightweight, V8 engine performance and outstanding dynamic abilities combine to deliver a supercar driving experience that hits new heights, with truly exhilarating levels of emotional connection.”
Speed, focus and refinement
While it mightn’t be easy to decipher the difference between the six-year-old 720S and the latest 750S, McLaren is quick to assure potential owners that approximately 30 percent of the new model features new or upgraded components to ensure a different visceral experience behind the wheel.
At the heart of the 750S resides an upgraded version of the marque’s formidable 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in the 720S. Power is now rated at 552kW alongside 800Nm of torque sent to the rear wheels via a revised seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that’s been fine-tuned to deliver faster shifts and improved cornering thanks to a limited-slip differential at the rear. Paired with extreme weight-saving measures across areas such as the seats, wheels, driver instrument displays and even the windscreen glass, the 750S can now claim a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of just 2.8 seconds before topping out at a maximum speed of 332km/h.
While speed is a crowning factor, many McLaren clientele will also be expected to enjoy their cars on public roads. Comfort is therefore paramount. The 750S addresses this requisite with the new generation Proactive Chassis Control (PCC III) system, a linked-hydraulic suspension, which combines astonishingly precise body control with a highly compliant ride. The combined hardware and software changes made for PCC III ensure that the dynamic breadth of the 750S is even greater than its predecessor.
Exotic interior appointments
A contemporary supercar needs a stunning cockpit to match and the 750S delivers with a choice of the full Nappa leather-trimmed interior or a combination of Alcantara and Nappa leather. Both these specifications are available with new TechLux and Performance interior themes. Exquisite materials seamlessly integrated with cutting-edge technology is the name of the game here.
Premium sound is once again catered to by luxury audio outfit, Bowers & Wilkins. As McLaren’s audio partner, the firm has developed a new system for the 750S with a more powerful amplifier paired with the company’s proprietary Continuum cone speakers.
At the heart of the driver experience are new displays for both information and instruments. The instrument display is fitted to the steering column and moves with it to ensure a consistent line of sight for the driver. More importantly, it is mounted in a binnacle that features the controls for the Active Dynamics functions on either side, meaning a driver doesn’t have to take their hands off the wheel to select Powertrain and Handling modes.
Other first-time features in the 750S include the McLaren Control Launcher (MCL) which brings another dimension to the driver interface. Activated using a button featuring the iconic McLaren Speedmark, MCL allows the driver to personalise their McLaren driving experience by storing a bespoke dynamic preference – their favourite combination of aero, handling, powertrain and transmission settings – that can instantly be recalled with a push of the MCL button. Driving in any specific condition or environment is now easier than ever.
Other important interior features include Apple CarPlay alongside the new Central Information Screen boasting richer detailed graphics to enhance the overall driver experience. The Rear View and Surround View camera systems are upgraded for higher definition and clarity. And for driving in more precarious situations such as leaving a carpark, a new vehicle-lift system can raise the front of the 750S in four seconds – a full six seconds faster when compared to the outgoing 720S.
Finer exterior lines
Enthusiasts need to look closely to see the fine difference between the 750S and 720S. It’s more of a refinement of the body than an entire rework exercise. As a result, there’s a new lower nose section featuring an extended front splitter, narrower ‘eye socket’ intakes that enclose the headlights, new sill air intakes and rear wheel arch vents. Rear aerodynamic revisions also incorporate a redesigned and lengthened rear deck designed to channel air towards a distinctive raised and lengthened carbon fibre active rear wing, the latter of which acts as both the air brake and downforce instrument.