2024 McLaren 750S Starts with 720S, Skips 11, Dials It Up to 12

Jackson Wheeler
12 Min Read

  • Newest McLaren improves almost everything from the 720S from which it was derived.
  • Power is up by 30 hp to 740, torque by 22 lb-ft to 590.
  • Available in coupe or spider, starting at $331,740.

The new McLaren 750S takes everything you loved about the 720S and makes it even better.

Now, if you wanted to be a brazen cynic desperately trying to impress passersby at your local Cars and Coagulants with your insider knowledge you’d say, “It’s just a 720S, you know…” letting your voice trail off as passersby try to ignore you because you’re missing the point!

Why remake the entire thing when you can just improve the things that’ll make a great car even better? That’s the essence of what McLaren has done with the new 750S seven years after debuting the 720S.

“The goal for the 750S was to take that benchmark supercar and really raise the bar,” said Chief Engineer Sandy Holford, who may have the best job in the world. “We focused on enhancing agility, feedback and connection, and that sense of fun behind the wheel.

“We combined the best elements of a 720S and the 765LT, the fun factor of our longtail products, combined with true everyday usability. This has broadened the capability of the car to cover an even wider dynamic range from comfort and versatility through to all-out track performance.”

Those last three things—comfort, versatility, and all-out track performance—were what I’d get to experience during a long day behind the wheel of this modern marvel.

The engine is an evolution of the M840T twin-turbo V8 that debuted on the 650 and can even trace its roots back to the MP4 12C (and even earlier to the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Nissan R390 GT1 intended for Le Mans).

They cranked up the boost pressure, added lightweight pistons, two fuel pumps, “bespoke calibration,” and installed a triple-layer head gasket to keep it all together. Output now sits at 740 SAE horsepower (750 DIN, thus the model name), and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase in 30 hp and 22 lb-ft over the 720.

That’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) with a 15% shorter final drive. The shorter final drive means the car gets to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, compared to 2.8 for the 720S. It also means top speed drops from 212 mph to 206, but we all have our crosses to bear.

The carbon-fiber MonoCage II tub, aluminum extrusions, and the doors, glass, and roof are carryover, but the front and rear bodywork are further optimized to combine maximum downforce with the lowest-possible drag. The suspension geometry is also carryover except for six millimeters more width on the front pickup points.

The front splitter and active-aero rear wing combine to press the 750S to the road like a spatula.

The steering ratio is quicker while the springs are 3% softer in front and 4% stiffer in the rear. Both the dampers and the Pro-Active Chassis Control III have also been “optimized” for better response and performance.

Curb weight is down by 66 pounds to 3062, but that’s measured on the European DIN scale, so ours will be a little heavier.

You now have a choice of three tire models for your 750S. While you could only get the Pirelli P Zero and the P Zero Corsa on the 720 S, you now have a choice of: Pirelli Trofeo Rs for high-performance driving, the P Zero for street comfort, and the Pirelli Corsa “for a really good kind of hybrid in the middle, a tire where it gives you wet performance on a track or a sportier tire if you wanted one tire to do everything, and you wanted to daily drive it as well, the Corsa’s a good option,” Holford said.

Taken together all those changes add up.

“Lots of things have very, very small but meaningful changes which, each on their own, wouldn’t deliver one thing. But when you put them all together, that’s when they deliver the package and the result,” Holford said.

Indeed they did.

On a street drive, the 750S felt perfectly comfortable inside. The switchgear for adjusting the Active Dynamic settings has been moved up to the binnacle, where you can adjust them without taking your hands off the wheel. The gauges mount directly to the steering column so they stay in your line of vision as you adjust the wheel.

Even the button to raise the front end for speed bumps is now handily mounted up and left on the dash. The seat reclined as much as I wanted it, and vision in almost every direction was good. They even added little windowlets in those sweepingly elegant rear pillars.

My loaner was a coupe, which I prefer, since I wither up and die in direct sunlight, but there’s a Spider available, too, with a top that raises or lowers in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. Now that’s a Cars ‘n’ Coffee party trick.

Out in the desert it’s easy to find yourself accidentally going into triple digits, so smooth and effortless is the car’s climb to terminal velocity. On a public road far from traffic, you get a sense of increased refinement from behind the wheel, as if the 750S is more composed than the 720 was—less, dare we say, harsh?

And on the track it’s everything the 720 was but more. McLaren rented out the infield road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a track that I think is the best infield road course inside an oval of any such configuration extant. It’s easy and obvious where you should go for a smooth, fast lap. It doesn’t present much of a challenge to professional racers, but for almost everybody else it’s a blast.

My tester stickered for $421,400—well worth it if you will push it as hard as it was engineered for.

The setup was a sort of mid-level that McLaren described as Sport, since Track mode would be better on brand new, billiard-table flat surfaces. Sport not only added a comfort factor but probably resulted in faster lap times on the well-used surface at LVMS.

The added horsepower made itself known with slightly faster speeds at the end of the front straight, while the extra 22 lb-ft of torque could be felt everywhere around the track. Step on the brakes and that big, papaya orange rear wing flips up to block your rear vision and to help slow you down.

Brakes get a new booster and vacuum pump for better performance while you can also get carbon-ceramic discs and monobloc front calipers from the Senna.

Once up to speed the new front splitter and larger active-aero rear wing combine to press the 750S to the asphalt like a spatula on a griddle.

The 750S is so good it’s one of those supercars that reminds you right away that it can do a lot more than you can. But if you push it, you’ll find you can do a lot more than you thought you could. Go ahead, dive deeper into that corner, the brakes are up to it. Crank harder into that curve, the car stays in line without a hiccup.

Lap after lap, the more familiar you get with the easy layout of this fun course, the 750S is there to meet your new demands. The brakes never faded, the engine never faltered in its power and torque deliveries, and the car even remained comfortable throughout its track thrashing.

If you get one of these, and you really should, you have to take it to a track—regularly. Track driving is completely different from pushing it hard in your favorite canyon. You can really feel and appreciate all the engineering that goes into cars like these, though there are few like this one.

The obvious competitor is the Ferrari, any of the recent V8 mid-engine models from the F8 Tributo and SF90 to the 296 GTB. It’s still a step ahead of the always improving Lamborghini Huracan. It stays flatter and may be faster than the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, though I’d like to try them back-to-back to be sure.

But its sticker price will keep all but a few from buying one. Prices for the coupe start at $331,740 including destination, and $352,740 for the Spider. My car (mine for a few hours) stickered at $421,400 with lots of options—well worth it if you’re willing to push it as hard as it was engineered for.

For other purposes, cruising Sunset or posing at Cars and Carbunkles, it will succeed as well as anything out there.

Where does the new McLaren 750S rank among supercars competing for your affection—and dollars? Please comment below.

Headshot of Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over a straight-six miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor while his father cursed Ford, all its products and everyone who ever worked there. This was his introduction to objective automotive criticism. He started writing for City News Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and became editor of a car magazine called, creatively, Auto. He decided Auto should cover Formula 1, sports prototypes and touring cars—no one stopped him! From there he interviewed with Autoweek at the 1989 Frankfurt motor show and has been with us ever since.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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