When the McLaren 720s was launched at 18 months ago out in Italy, I drove it twice, and it's fair to say I was less than effusive in my praise for it.
There were bits I love and bits I was very impressed by, but overall, I just...
I didn't quite gel with it.
Others seemed to agree on that launch, although some seemed to have forgotten by the time they came to write their reviews.
Anyway, since then, I've kept an eye on it, and it's won all sorts of awards, and things that I was sort of critical of seem to have been praised.
So I was intrigued, had it been improved, albeit, not officially?
When McLaren announced the Track Pack for the 720S, I thought
That sounded like a perfect opportunity to try it again here in the UK.
The question is, will I fall in love with the 720S this time?
Just to recap, the 720S is the replacement for the 650S in McLaren's super series.
It produces a handy 720 break horsepower and 568 pounds of torque from its four liter, twin turbo V8.
It has a seven speed dual clutch gearbox driving the rear wheels still with no limited slip diff.
And it weighs in at a little over 1,400 kilos in standard trim.
Acceleration is the swift side of brisk, it warms to 60 miles an hour taking just 2.9 seconds, it will hit 212 miles an hour, flat out.
So what do you actually get for the track pack?
Well, it's probably best To think of it as like the club sports to GT3's comfort spec, that sort of thing.
It is not, and it's quite important to point this out, this is not an LT version of the 720S.
So you get quite a lot of carbon fiber, you get these lovely carbon fiber bucket seats.
Which I think are absolutely wonderful.
I even prefer these to the center seats.
You still sit just a little bit high, this is on the low accessing, and if you're tall like me, you could feel like you're going even closer to the floor.
But generally, the seating position is absolutely wonderful.
You'll also get some new forge light-weight wheels ten spoke, very nice indeed.
Importantly though, none of the suspension has actually changed at all.
So the proactive chassis control, exactly the same.
Overall the track pack equipped car saves 24 kilos, will set you back just over ��28,000, taking the total to over ��253,000.
Which is not cheap.
But then, super cars never were.
Ironically, perhaps one of the most divisive aspects of the 720S, namely its appearance, is something I rather like.
The socket headlights are interestingly distinctive, and the overall shape is beautifully, swoopingly curvaceous and sleek.
I'm a fan.
As soon as I got back into this To a certain things I remember the first time driving the first time around that I still really really like about this is car.
The visibility, this view out through the car.
Not only through the front, but also behind is just fantastic.
The brakes too They don't bite right at the top of the pedal but as soon as you're into that travel you get fantastic feel from the [UNKNOWN].
The ability to easily left-foot break remains wonderful too with the pedal placement perfect whichever foot you want to use.
And you will want to use those big [UNKNOWN].
The other thing of course that very quickly becomes apparent Is that this is just sensationally fast.
It was this thing that I will conceded blew me away when I first drove this car, and that hasn't changed at all.
This is actually wearing normal [UNKNOWN] rubber instead of corsets which the [UNKNOWN] would normally come on.
So traction is definitely a little bit limited in the cold but actually the traction control, it shows off just how good that is.
Just [UNKNOWN] here and there, I love it in the dynamic ESC setting where it just lets you slide a bit.
So what things did I feel might have changed since those original launch cars?
One of the things I noticed straightaway was that the steering felt Weightier, heavier, more detailed and that's certainly really nice initially but we'll come back to that in a bit.
The other thing is that this comes with a sports exhauster standard with track pack but it seems to be a different sports exhaust to the one that I tried on the launch because it's so much better.
The whole car, but I think particularly the drive train, just feels how much [UNKNOWN] Instead of more of what you would expect for a super car.
It is so fast as well.
The car actually [UNKNOWN] to control just demolishes a piece of road like this.
The way it copes with the bumps is extraordinary.
If you take it out of active and put it back into normal You can actually still use it on a long journey, as I did to drive across here, and it's perfectly habitable, almost boring.
Another detail worth mentioning is the clarity and power of the headlights.
Those upright covers to the lenses were touted as being special at the launch, and I wondered if I'd notice a difference.
But they are brilliant.
[UNKNOWN] Just another thing that makes this a very usable, super car.
So is it all good?
Have I fallen in love with a 720S.
Am I revising my opinion entirely?
In the dry like this, The car has so much grip, and you are going so fast.
And yet the car still doesn't really seem untroubled.
That can feel a bit frustrating as a road car because you want to be part of it, not just impressed by it.
I definitely think it's better on a bumpier road like this, because you're going to feel more at home, in fact, driving this during a sort of colder conditions and the wet was really nice because then you could feel the chassis moving around a bit more.
You felt like part of the action, so too fast, is that a quibble?
I don't know.
One thing I'm still not entirely sure about is the steering.
A run straight ahead As I said before, it's got lovely weighting.
And it feels like you've got lots of, well, feel.
But actually it turns out to be [UNKNOWN], you feel the bumps through it, but in terms of actually how hard you're pushing the front end, it's still quite difficult particularly in tighter corners like this.
As soon as you get [UNKNOWN] 45 degrees or more lock on it's just...
it's really quite difficult to actually tell how hard you're pushing the front tires, and I remember that, particularly from on the track, before when I drove this.
So, no steering to me isn't perfect and I suppose that's probably to do with the proactive chassis control.
It's something I haven't felt in the lower sport series cars, which I adore, and for me, that's why I think those are still the ones to have.
This car felt much more engaging than those launch versions I drove 18 months ago.
It's breadth of ability remains incredible, even in Track Pack guise, it can mooch comfortably.
but then at the press of a button astonish With the speed, it can cover ground.
There is perhaps still a sense that when you're at five or six tenths sort of pace.
When you want to be entertained but not excessive.
The 720S still lacks a little sparkle.
Although admittedly the lower group of colder work conditions sorts that nicely.
At the end of the day, a 570S remains the McLaren for me.
I prefer the steering and I just don't think you need more than that to get the full usable super car experience.
Having said that,
Power is addictive.