It happens fairly often: an automaker produces a high-performance car, and shouts its power figures to the world. It's all a bit of a game, though, because there's a chance the maker is really underrating that figure. The only thing they need you to know that it's more powerful than the competition, but it doesn't have to be too much more, as long as it's ahead. In reality, it could be way ahead.
This seems to be the case for McLaren and its new 720S. The numbers in its name point to its metric horsepower rating. Translated to 'MURICAN horsepower, the figure is 710 horsepower, calculated at the crank. This is the output figure posted for the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine found in the rear half of the 720S.
However, when one of Woking's latest steeds was placed on a DynoJet, the results were a bit better than the factory let on. BoostAddict found horsepower figures of 694, 696, and 699. Those figures, mind you, are at the rear wheels. That means the actual engine horsepower could be as much as 780 horsepower, possibly even higher.
McLaren is, in short, sandbagging heavily on the 720S. We're okay with that, though: we look forward to the shocked expressions of Ferrari 488 GTB owners when the British super speeder goes howling past. Also, this isn't the first time that McLaren has played around with reported power figures.
According to The Drive, McLaren said the 570S produced 562 crank horsepower, but it actually made over 530 horsepower at the wheels. It's fibbing, but it's the kind that makes us crack a wry smile.