How Fast Can You Make A McLaren 720S?

Remember when a 10-second street car seemed like a massive deal?

It was around the same time overnight parts from Japan became a thing, and the quality of tuna sandwiches would drive some individuals to turn violent.

Speedhunters x CSF-63

Over the past decade, I feel we’ve become normalised to seeing quarter mile and lap records tumble on an almost monthly basis, to the point there’s now road cars – from the factory – going even faster than the race cars we grew up idolising.

Speedhunters x CSF-61

Take Klaus Ludwig’s fire-spitting Porsche 935 K3. I don’t think anyone would ever describe it as slow, yet its pole-position lap time around the ‘Ring in 1979 is now two-seconds slower than a stock C8 Corvette. On road tyres at that.

Before that vein on your forehead explodes, I know there’s a giant list of variables that make this comparison unfair, but it’s a pretty wacky example of just how far we’ve come in a few decades. Which is, er… actually quite a long time thinking about it.


What’s the point of this story, then? A few days ago, the Drag Times YouTube page posted a video of a McLaren 765LT setting a 9.41-second quarter mile and a 0-60mph time of just 2.1-seconds. Stock. Making it supposedly the fastest production car in the world.

No optional slicks you get in a big wooden box and no secret engine map, just fuel (which ironically it nearly runs out of) and a heavy right foot.


That’s a ridiculous achievement regardless of what you make of McLarens. Especially when you factor in the 765LT is designed to go fast on the track, not the quarter mile. It’s a legitimate road car.


We’ve all seen the wild twin-turbo conversions from the likes of Sheepey and Underground Racing in the past, but this one’s boosted from the factory. The fact any person with a bag full of cash can go and buy a road car with this kind of performance boggles my mind.

Speedhunters x CSF-60

Even the standard 720S – which you could argue is more of a sports car on steroids rather than a supercar – does the quarter mile in 9.9-seconds, and they can be picked up secondhand for quite literally half their original price now.

Speedhunters x CSF-76

That got me thinking – which is always a terrible prospect. If the 720S/765LT platform can go this fast standard, what exactly are they going to be capable of with a bit of tuning? EkanooRacing have given us a little insight – their 720S with downpipes, filters and a flash went 8.85-seconds at 159mph (255km/h) last year. But what about when you’re north of 1,000hp?

Speedhunters x CSF-75

CSF Cooling – in conjunction with partners M Engineering, RK Autowerks and Voodoo Engineering – have just launched a set of new high-performance intercoolers which are already fitted to SSR Performance’s McLaren 720S pictured above.

Speedhunters x CSF-51

Used in conjunction with SSR downpipes, exhaust system, methanol injection and an M Engineering tune, they’ve managed to unleash a staggering 1,122whp from an otherwise stock McLaren 720S. To put that into perspective, that’s over 400whp more than standard in a car weighing 1,419kg (3,128lb). Now think how quick a car weighing that much with 400whp feels. And that’s just additional power.

Speedhunters x CSF-26
Speedhunters x CSF-56

Understandably, building and developing a set of intercoolers for a $300,000 McLaren isn’t quite as straightforward as cramming a larger FMIC behind your Focus RS bumper. Especially given how efficient the stock design is, which makes the flow gains CSF have achieved (while remaining a bolt-in replacement) even more impressive. You can see the full process over on the CSF website here.

These kinds of horsepower figures only tell half the story, though. With that level of power, will the SSR Performance 720S struggle to launch without wheelspin? Can the stock transmission cope with the added torque? Luckily, they’ll be putting it to the test very soon.

Speedhunters x CSF-17

There are a lot of modern supercars I struggle to get on board with these days; they’re unobtanium and for the most part seem like engineering exercises rather than an emotive driving experience. But when tuners like CSF, SSR Performance and M Engineering start pushing the boundaries, I’m properly curious to see just how fast they can go when unleashed.

Speedhunters x CSF-79

With that in mind, where do you reckon the limit for the McLaren 720S/765LT platform is? Are we looking at the new benchmark for those quarter mile and half mile racers, or will its complexity be its downfall? Let us know in the comments below.

Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni

Photos by Darrien Craven
Instagram: _crvn_



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I have always loved the aftermarket scene, something about taking something ordinary and making it unique and special... but I've also always loved Ferrari lol. N tbh when I seen the first pics of the 720s I thought it was weird, maybe even ugly, until I seen 1 driving past me on the road... what a marvellous design, all those things I disliked about it (mostly the headlight/air-intake mashup thingy) are the ones which make it amazing and beautiful. Couple that with the mind-bending speed the wizards from mclaren have made this car capable of achieving and.... a die hard ferrari lover and lover of modified cars is now obsessed with 720s''s even in stock form. These cars are the future... and err the present...


I too, wasn't sure about the looks of the 720S when it was launched, but I like it now. The instrument display is very cool, too. If I won the lottery, it's a car I'd love to have in the garage for track days and the ocasional road trip (parked next to a 430 Scuderia and some rusty old French hatchback).


I love your taste in cars, the 430 scud is my favourite "modern" ferrari too


I'm not going to lie, when I read this story I looked at how much used McLaren 720S models were going for here in the U.K. Starting at around £130k that's almost half the original cost. Out of my reach, but that's an incredible amount of performance for the money.




Guys, so I guess fast isn't fast enough. Always pushing the envelope. That's why men develop everything. Faster is good as long as you can control it. Love to see it in that Texas mile shootout. You can always go faster. There's a McLaren dealer in North Jersey. They are very cool cars. Ferrari's are too finicky. It's too humid. It's too warm. I'm tired. Porsche all day long. Keep us posted.


I'll like to invoke the age old saying;

its not about making power. its about putting it to the ground.


Also if i may add, out of the so many Mclaren cars that have launched over the last decade or so...

my personal favorite and the best looking one, imo anyway, is still the MP412C.


I can agree on the beauty of the MP4-12C, as it had more graceful curves of older sculpted supercars, where-as the more modern McLarens have more purpose-designed angry lines as a result of aerodynamics


Or maybe i am just stuck in time haha


Generally speaking, how fast a car could go depends on how crazy (or sane) you are, and how deep your pocket is.

In my country, speed that exceed 110km/hr gets you a ticket. Do it often enough, will have the driving license suspended which isn't a lot of fun.


Lol. As if a 720s wasn't fast enough for just some talented test & tunes away from doing well at Nurburgring or LeMans races in the same vein as Glickenhaus with his SCG's. Clicked because maybe the article tackled the differences between "fast", "quick", or "speed".

Turns out, it's an article about cooling and maybe like Freevalve/HCCI/Synth Fuels/etc being the final frontier for ICE before it becomes irrelevant to connected EV's and drone taxis. 8 second cars... Meh. No doubt this kilowatt 720s can just "do it all" and for less than MSRP merely few years ago with the right used buy today and a trip to the right tuner. Either Bugatti will up their game next car or just make a VTOL luxury drone.

And here I am trying to keep Sports cars running...


CSF is one of the aftermarket companies that never fails to amaze me. Respect to all the geniuses who didn't sleep for countless nights trying to deliver a better version of an almost perfect item.


The progress that performance automotive technology has made is mind-blowing. I have a ton of respect to the engineers and drivers designing and testing these mods.
And as for "how fast the 720S/765T can get" I've been thinking... One could easily get an idea of that simply by modding their McLaren in Forza and having a go on the drag strip!
It's partially a joke, yeah, but considering how accurate today's video games are, that could let us imagine the performance to be discovered.


I think what impresses me the most is how well the 765LT (in the video above) is able to put that power to the drag strip while still being on 'road' tyres and being RWD.When you see the R35 GT-R, 911 Turbo and even Tesla Model S doing ridiculous 0-60 times you'd assume it's all thanks to the all-wheel-drive systems.

Granted, the 765LT comes on Trofeo R track tyres and the drag strip is prepared vs. a normal road, but 0-60mph in 2.1-seconds is mindblowing. To the point i'm not sure how you go faster than that (by adding more power) unless you're in the realms of drag slicks and so forth.


The track surface looked like it was heavily prepped. Wouldn't that have a bearing?

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

the quality of tuna sandwiches would drive some individuals to turn violent.

This is too damn brilliant! ROFL


That exhaust set doe..... PERFECTION


And here's what's funny to me about this: you can take the same approach with road cars to race cars and the cost inverts.

I interviewed a friend who ran in the Atlantic series in the 90s and was doing 0-60 in 1.8 seconds with just 250bhp. He designed a centrifugal clutch instead of using the standard clutch which was part of what made it possible.

Road cars are impressive and have come a long way, but it's a fascinating study when you find out there are still affordable race cars from 30-40 years ago that will run circles around these "hyper cars."

For reference I believe the lap time around most circuits would be 20 seconds faster than anything from these tuners.

Very impressive, but if I had to pull the trigger I'm going for the value for money. Give me a real race car!

Nice article. Great photos.


Even the standard 720S – which you could argue is more of a sports car on steroids rather than a supercar

Okay... I don't want to get bogged down in semantics... but if a 720S isn't a Supercar, then I don't know what is


CSF needs to get Ray Charles outta the welding booth! Those welds arnt straight at all!!