The McLaren 720S is a fire-breathing behemoth within the supercar world. The 720S showed that you don’t need clever hybrid technology or all-wheel-drive to beat the best of the best in the motoring world.
The 720S was launched hot on the heels of the McLaren P1 – a third of the ‘Supercar Trinity’ of the early 2010s. What it did was almost beat the P1, LaFerrari, and 918 Spyder in a drag race – all for a third of the price. The 720S then went on and got a topless version, adding the great outdoors to the experience. McLaren then took it yet another step further with the 765LT – a special track-focused version that obliterated lap times and became a ‘must-have’ car for expensive car collections. The 720S is quite unique in the sense that it does not feature any side intakes for the radiators or to cool the engine, resulting in a smooth side profile that creates less drag. The styling of the 720S may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it follows scientific principles and was sculpted within a wind tunnel for optimum performance.
The McLaren 720S is a masterclass of engineering and design, showcasing that complicated drivetrains and electric boosts are not necessary for outright performance. That being said, there are some alternatives on the market that can do some things better. Here are ten of them.
10/10 Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica
The Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica is one of the final versions of the Huracan supercar before a new model is announced next year. Everyone thought the Tecnica would be the last, but Lamborghini surprised with the upcoming Sterrato off-road model.
The Tecnica is rear-wheel-drive and incorporates everything Lamborghini has learned with the Huracan, including the uprated 5.2-liter V10 from the Huracan Evo. All 630 German-Italian horses are sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
9/10 Maserati MC20
The Maserati MC20 is the newest addition to the Italian brand’s lineup, and it is a brilliant car. Not only are the driving dynamics sublime, but the performance is staggering, with the biggest criticism being that the engine is quiet.
The engine is Maserati’s new Nettuno twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, which produces 621 hp. Maserati has stated that the engine is all-new, but judging by the angle and other similarities, it is very likely a recalibrated version of the Alfa Romeo 690T – itself a smaller version of the Ferrari F154 V8.
8/10 Ferrari 296 GTB
The Ferrari 296 GTB is the more diminutive mid-engine supercar within the Prancing Horse’s lineup, sitting below the F8 Tributo but above the Portofino and Roma. The 296 is unique as it is the first 6-cylinder-powered car since the Dino in the 1970s.
The 296 GTB features a 120-degree 3.0-liter V6 with twin turbos and a hybrid system – like the SF90 Stradale – and produces a combined 820 hp going to the rear wheels only. This makes it one of the most powerful production Ferraris ever made, nearing the SF90’s 1,000 hp.
7/10 Aston Martin Valhalla
The Aston Martin Valhalla is an upcoming supercar from the British brand, which aims to take the fight to mid-engine cars like the McLaren 720S and Ferrari 296 GTB. The original Valhalla Concept featured a 3.0-liter V6 but has since been replaced with a 4.0-liter V8 from AMG.
The Valhalla will go on sale in late 2024 and will produce somewhere in the region of 950 hp, thanks to an added hybrid system. The Valhalla will feature an all-wheel-drive to help put the power down and everything will go through an 8-speed PDK transmission borrowed from Porsche.
6/10 Acura NSX Type S
The Acura NSX was revived in 2016 and made quite a statement with its twin-turbo V6 and hybrid powertrain. Unfortunately, it was too expensive and so failed the relatively affordable reputation set by the original.
The NSX was updated with more power and better handling for the Type S version, of which only 350 units will be made. The NSX was a brilliant idea but was outclassed by pretty much everything in its segment.
5/10 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06
The new Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06 is an incredible vehicle. The base Stingray model is already a supercar slayer for the price of a sports car, but the new Z06 is a Ferrari 458 for less than half the price thanks to the exceptional handling and the flat-plane engine.
It is no secret that the new 5.5-liter LT6 V8 is the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8 ever made, but the fact that it sounds like an older Ferrari is just amazing. It is one of the weirdest things to hear that noise coming out of the back of a Corvette, not to mention a GM product.
4/10 Ferrari F8 Tributo
Speaking of Ferraris, the F8 Tributo is the modern 458 and the replacement for the 488 GTB. The F8 shares the 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 from the 488 Pista, meaning 710 hp going to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The F8 may be pretty great to drive, but the thing which puts some fans off about the car is the fact that it is completely over-styled. The 488 was the right amount of improvement over the 458’s design, but the F8 took it just a bit too far. Luckily the Roma and Purosangue have reverted to proper Ferrari design language.
3/10 Pagani Huayra
Apart from the Huayra R, the Pagani Huayra may not be produced anymore, but it is still one of the best-looking supercars on the planet. From the beautiful exterior design and the milled wheels to the solid aluminum interior bits and the soft leather, the Huayra is a masterpiece in automotive art.
To back up the beauty is a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 from AMG – built specifically for the Huayra. The 750 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque is sent to the rear wheels only via a 7-speed automated-manual transmission. The new Pagani Utopia is a worthy successor.
2/10 Lamborghini Aventador S
The Lamborghini Aventador has just finished production and a replacement has already been spotted testing in Italy. The Aventador is the last naturally aspirated V12 the company made, as the new car had been confirmed to have hybrid assistance.
The Aventador S was the mid-cycle update for the model and the 6.5-liter V12’s power was upped to 730 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque. The S got four-wheel-steering, an updated all-wheel-drive system, and carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. It was further improved with styling from the SV.
1/10 Ferrari SF90 Stradale
The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the legendary Italian company’s most powerful production car ever, producing a combined 1,000 hp from a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 and three electric motors. Interestingly, the SF90 makes only 590 lb-ft of torque.
The car is currently the company’s flagship model after the LaFerrari was discontinued, but is not a special vehicle like the LaFerrari or the Enzo. Rather it is a car anyone with half a million Dollars can buy – more if the car is specced-out like all Ferraris usually are.