The McLaren 720S Runs the Quarter-Mile As Quickly As a Veyron Super Sport

That is nothing short of astounding for a rear-wheel drive car.

Richard Pardon

In addition to being our Performance Car of the Year, the McLaren 720S is a damn quick machine. How quick? Bugatti quick.

In our PCOTY testing, the 720S ran the quarter mile in 9.9 seconds, matching the time we set with a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport back in 2011. The McLaren's quarter-mile trap speed of 148.2 mph actually beats the Bugatti's 145.8 too. That's astounding for a rear-wheel drive car—especially one that came to us on Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, not something ultra-sticky like Pirelli's Trofeo R.

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Our test data for the 720S.
Road & Track

The Veyron Super Sport's all-wheel drive does give the Bugatti a slight advantage over the McLaren immediately off the line though. You see that in the Bugatti's 2.5 second 0-60 mph time, compared to the McLaren's 2.7 seconds. Another all-wheel drive VW Group product, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, beats the McLaren's 0-60 mph time too, hitting the target number in 2.4 seconds.

But don't let that take away from the McLaren 720S's achievement. The only car we've got test numbers on that runs the quarter-mile quicker than the 720s and Veyron SS is the LaFerrari, which ran it in 9.7 seconds at 149.2 mph. Oh, and while we're on the subject of hypercars, the McLaren's 9.9-second quarter-mile is a tenth quicker than that of the Porsche 918 Spyder.

As a reminder, a LaFerrari cost nearly $1 million more than our $378,215 720s test car when new, and the Veyron Super Sports cost $2.4 million more. Even the 918 Spyder carried an as-tested price around $470,000 dearer than the McLaren. So the 720S is a bargain, relatively speaking.

At this point, you probably have two questions: What about the Demon, and, how does Road & Track test cars?

Demon first: Yes, we've driven a Challenger SRT Demon, but we haven't done a full instrumented test on it. If we do, it could very well be the quickest car we've ever tested since Dodge claims a 9.54-second quarter-mile. All of this applies to the Bugatti Chiron and the McLaren P1 too.

And as far as our testing goes, we record GPS-verified times with a Racelogic VBox and add in one foot rollout. Here's how we explained rollout earlier this year:

"What is a rollout, you ask? Well, there's approximately one foot between where a car starts on a drag strip and where the timing actually starts. In many cars, that distance gives the car the opportunity to travel to a speed of about three mph before measuring begins and reduces the time on the strip by about three tenths of a second. It helps account for reaction times and makes every test equivalent."

All of this is to say that the McLaren is very, very fast. We can't wait to see what the "LT" version of the 720S—which will bring more power and sticker tires to the table—can do.

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