Dec 3, 2020

McLaren 720s vs McLaren P1: Comparing An Old Hypercar To A New Supercar

Matthew Mann

he McLaren P1 came out just over 7 years ago and its presence in the hyper/supercar industry remains mostly unchanged. You would think that its silhouette and statistics would start to get dated being that technology moves so fast nowadays. Fortunately for McLaren, the P1 still looks very futuristic and it is still blistering fast. In the last 5 years however, McLaren has bolstered their line up of cars that now rival the statistics of the P1. One of their newest models, the McLaren 720s, is a prime example of technology and manufacturing catching up and reducing cost. Apart from the P1 being much more limited (only 375 units made), the cost difference is staggering. Even though the McLaren P1 is considered 'old', the average asking price is a staggering $1.3 million USD; while a brand new 720s is only $300,000 USD. You would think that for the price, you must be getting a much better car in the P1. But is this really the case?

Utilizing Hybrid Technology

McLaren was one of the 3 supercar manufactures that incorporated a hybrid powertrain, next to the Porsche 918 and Ferrari LaFerrari. This was huge news at the time, and ushered in a new era of power generation. The McLaren P1 was outfitted with a 3.8L twin turbo V8 engine that by itself produces 789 horsepower. Couple that with its additional electric motor, and the entire powertrain produced 986 horsepower. Close to 1000 horsepower in a car right from the factory is unbelievable in all senses.

The P1 gives the driver the option to use only the gas or electric motor to power the car, or in most cases, simultaneously. By using the cars full power, the P1 is able to go 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and is able to eventually hit the electronically limited top speed of 217 mph.

On top of crazy power stats, its overall weight is something to touch on. Like most supercars of today and hypercars of recent times, the chassis is a monocoque carbon fiber tub that is instrumental at reducing weight. In fact, the whole tub only weighs 90 kg's. McLaren also trimmed some fat in the thickness of the glass. Instead of using a windshield that is 3.2mm, they went for one that is only 2.4mm. This saved 3.5kg's on the overall weight. Although it may not seem significant, every kg counts when your striving for the max power to weight ratio. With all the weight reduction that they were able to accomplish, the P1 comes in at 1547 kg's which is less than most modern day sedans.

Another interesting point to touch on is the actual cost of the car. Like stated previously, the asking price for a P1 now is roughly $1.3 million which is almost $150,000 more than the original MSRP. This price increase is mostly due to the limited production numbers which may seem slightly obvious. From a pure investment perspective, whoever was able to purchase one out of the gate is most likely very happy.

The New Age McLaren

In 2018, McLaren released their new flagship model, the 720s. The 720s has a 4.0L twin turbo V8 rather than a 3.8L V8 and does not utilize hybrid technology. Although it has a more conventional engine setup, it is still able to push out 710 horsepower. Even though it has more than 200 horsepower less than the P1, it has almost the exact same  0-60 time of 2.8 seconds. This may because the 720s is actually lighter than the millionaire dollar P1. Even with certain spec upgrades, the 720s weighs in 100 kg's less than that of the P1. The 720s still comes standard with a 7 inch info-tainment touchscreen, surround sound speakers and 3 different external cameras to assist in driving and parking.

McLaren 720s vs McLaren P1

Aesthetically speaking, both are beautiful cars, extremely powerful and light weight. So why is one so much more expensive than the other?

Like we touched on earlier, this is mostly due to production numbers. The P1 was limited to only 375 cars worldwide. The 720s came out in 2018 and McLaren has revamped the model slightly every year. It is uncertain whether or not they will stop production anytime soon, but McLaren has recently released a new faster version of the 720s called the 765LT. This version is faster, lighter and gives the driver a much more raw race car feel when driving.

McLaren is infamous for car malfunction and little issues that compound. No matter the model, most owners will tell you that they have had some sort of issue over the tenure of them owning a McLaren. It is for this reason that almost every McLaren model goes down in value until the final production numbers are announced. If the model is limited like the P1, it is much more likely to hold its value and/or retain its original value.

It is undeniable that both the McLaren P1 and the McLaren 720s are amazing cars and extremely fast. The stats speak for themselves though. In the 5 years between production of both vehicles, McLaren was able to include the newest technology that was once valued at much higher cost. Apart from the investment upside for the P1, the obvious choice between the two would be the McLaren 720s.

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