The McLaren 720S that had its official public debut earlier today at the Geneva International Auto Show will be available in late 2017 in Project CARS 2 for the first time on PS®4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.
This marks months of close collaboration between the teams at McLaren Automotive and Slightly Mad Studios in developing the virtual car whilst still developing the real car—a first for both.
As the successor to the 650S, the McLaren 720S shifts McLaren’s Super Series into its second generation and comes with high expectations.
If you’re not one of the lucky few to have managed to order the 720S, you’ll have to wait until late 2017 to get the exclusive sim racing opportunity of pushing it to its astonishing limits in Project CARS 2. It won’t take long to appreciate that the expectations for the 720S have not been met—they’ve been surpassed by quite some measure.
McLaren describe the 720S as ‘revolutionary’. It’s easy to see why.
The chassis is an all-new, active carbon-fiber structure known as the ‘Monocage II’. This is the core of the 720S. Aside from the handling and performance benefits of the rigid system, it also allows the 720S to come in on the scales with a dry weight of only 1,283kgs (2,825.5lbs). That’s compared to the 1,301kgs (2,868lbs) from the 650S. Even more impressive is the centre of gravity that is now a full three percent lower than the 650S. This has allowed McLaren to create a car that boasts double the aero’ efficiency of its predecessor, the 650S.
The aero’ is even further enhanced with the introduction of the full-width aerofoil profile-wing that delivers 30 percent more downforce than its predecessor. The wing, hydraulically-operated, does more than just offer downforce though, and you’re going to have some serious fun messing about with this system in Project CARS 2.
The wing operates in three key conditions. Hit the ‘Aero’ button, and the 720S will automatically operate the wing in ‘Driver Downforce’ configuration by ‘opening’ it to 70-80 percent deployment (depending on your speed) for optimum downforce. The wing also comes with F1-derived DRS (30 percent deployment) which will reduce drag for acceleration and top speed. The final configuration, however, is also the coolest: the wing will automatically deploy to 100 percent for ‘High Speed Braking’—and that happens in less than half a second.
You’ll appreciate that safety-belt-contracting assistance when you stand on the carbon-ceramic brakes because the engine on the 720S has been upped to an all-new twin-turbo 4-litre V8 pushing out (in line with the car’s name) 720ps (or 710hp). What does that equate to? An unrivalled power-to-weight ratio (561 PS per ton), power and efficiency up 10 percent from the 650S, 0-100kmh (62mph) in 2.9 seconds, and 0-200kmh (124mph) in a grin-to-mildly-panic-inducing 7.8 seconds. The 720S will then just keep accelerating through its seven-speed seamless-shift ’box to a top-end speed of 341kmh (212mph).
The turbines in the turbochargers and intercoolers on the 720S are capable of spinning at an almost unbelievable 160,000RPM, while the red-line on your dash’ comes in at over 8000RPM through all seven gears.
And yes, just as you’d imagine, a throaty rasp of authority that sounds as distinctive as the 720S looks comes standard.
Under the silk is where the magic hides …
Getting the 720S on track is where you’ll soon discover the pure joy of a car that has been built for performance. McLaren’s ‘Proactive Chassis Control’, a unique control software allied to new suspension hardware, is based on advanced mathematical research initiated by McLaren at the University of Cambridge that involves advanced algorithms that assess inputs from crucial vehicle parameters, all analyzed and reacted to in two milliseconds. But you don’t even need to know how to count when you stick the 720S into a turn and realize its grip far exceeds your expectations.
The Variable Drift Control, meanwhile, lets you decide the degree of stability control desired. In Project CARS 2, zero is your mode of choice for instant hero.
The Proactive Chassis Control II also features hydraulically-interlinked dampers at each corner which removes any need for anti-roll bars, standard across the McLaren range. In Track mode, where you’ll be spending all your time in Project CARS 2, the dampers are continuously adjusted for firmness to ensure the contact patch of the bespoke Pirelli tyres are always in optimal contact with the road.
McLaren’s F1-derived Brake Steer system is back, too, and refined to imperceptibly brake the inside rear wheel, thereby reducing understeer, or transferring power to the rear wheel with more traction on corner-exits. This results in the 720S rendering the limited-slip diff’ into obsolescence.
No anti-roll bars, no limited slip-diff’, active aero-chassis, a profile-wing, and brake-induced steering—did McLaren say revolutionary?
The shifting display that is as cool as it is functional
The Full Display Mode that shifts into Slim Display Mode for the track—where you’ll be racing the 720S in Project CARS 2—is a thing of sheer wonder, displaying only essential information for both maximum visibility, and minimal distraction.
What does it look like? This:
The new McLaren 720S: experience the raw power and thrill of true authenticity from one of the world’s purest supercars only in Project CARS 2.
Project CARS 2 will be released in late 2017 for the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and PC