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Sneak a peek at McLaren’s sleek 720S three months early, we don’t mind

McLaren 720S leaked image
lamborghiniks Instagram
McLaren will debut the successor to its current “Super Series” models at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March. Which means no one outside McLaren’s inner circle is supposed to see the first of those new models just yet.

But McLaren is showing the car, called the 720S, to a select group of customers at events around the world. At one of those events, Instagram user lamborghiniks snapped a photo of what appears to be the new supercar, which replaces the current McLaren 650S.

Internally codenamed “P14,” the 720S marks the first time McLaren has redesigned one of its models. The British automaker has only been producing cars in large volumes for a few years, so it has never had the need to introduce a second-generation model before. Judging by the photo, the 720S will at least surpass the 650S when it comes to dramatic styling features.

The car’s name refers to its output in metric horsepower; output on the U.S. rating system will be a bit below the 720-hp figure. McLaren claims the 720S will be about twice as aerodynamic as the outgoing 650S, thanks in part to a large active rear spoiler. Like the spoiler on the 650S, it will be able to pitch forward to act as an air brake.

The 720S will be based on an all-new body structure called Monocage II. McLaren claims it will help cut dry weight to 1,283 kilograms (2,828 pounds), or 18 kg (39.6 lbs) lighter than the 650S. McLaren also promises a lower center of gravity, better outward visibility, and easier ingress and egress than the 650S.

The 650S will be a tough act to follow, though. The Super Series (which also includes the limited-edition 675LT and discontinued MP4-12C) was McLaren’s first volume model line, helping to transform the company from a boutique manufacturer to a true Ferrari and Lamborghini rival. In addition to the Super Series, McLaren also sells the lower-level “Sports Series,” and is planning a new limited-edition supercar, set to debut in 2019.

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