Can the Use of Lightweight Forged Wheels Improve the Handling of a McLaren 720S?

The debate on the influence of wheels on a car’s performance has always been a heated one, especially among McLaren owners. Today, we’ll be discussing one particular model, the McLaren 720S, and how lightweight forged wheels may affect its handling.

The McLaren 720S: A Brief Overview

Before diving into the world of wheels, it’s crucial to understand the vehicle you’ll be modifying. The McLaren 720S is a high-performance sports car that was first launched in 2017. It’s a track-oriented, road-legal vehicle that features a twin-turbocharged 4.0 litre V8 engine. With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, it boasts an impressive track record in the racing circles. However, the performance of a vehicle is not solely dependent on its engine. Other factors like weight and wheel type also play significant roles.

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The McLaren 720S comes with 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels. The standard wheels are made of aluminium, with an optional upgrade to lightweight forged wheels available. These wheels are not only lighter than their aluminium counterparts but are also stronger, thanks to the unique forging process.

The Importance of Weight Reduction in a Performance Vehicle

The weight of your vehicle is a critical factor when considering its performance. By reducing the weight of your McLaren 720S, you are essentially making it easier for the engine to propel the car forward. This results in quicker acceleration and more nimble handling.

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The wheels of a car contribute significantly to its overall weight. Therefore, by choosing lighter wheels, you’re effectively reducing the car’s weight without compromising its structural integrity. Lightweight forged wheels, typically made from alloys like carbon fibre or litespeed, are a great way to achieve this.

Lightweight wheels also have another important advantage: they reduce unsprung weight. Unsprung weight refers to the weight of the car that isn’t supported by the suspension, which includes the wheels. By reducing this weight, you can improve the car’s suspension response, making it feel more responsive and agile.

Forged Wheels vs Cast Wheels

There’s more to a wheel than meets the eye. The manufacturing process of the wheel, specifically whether it is forged or cast, can have a significant impact on its weight, strength, and performance.

Forged wheels are made by subjecting a solid piece of aluminium to high heat and pressure. This process aligns the grain structure of the metal, making it stronger and lighter than a cast wheel.

On the other hand, cast wheels are made by pouring molten aluminium into a mould. While this process is less expensive, it does not align the grain structure of the metal, resulting in a heavier and less durable wheel.

Given the superior strength and reduced weight, forged wheels are typically the preferred choice for performance-oriented vehicles like the McLaren 720S.

Carbon Fibre: The Ultimate Lightweight Material

In the quest for lightweight performance, few materials can match the strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fibre. This lightweight, high-strength material is becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry, particularly in performance and racing vehicles.

Carbon fibre wheels are made by weaving carbon fibres together and setting them with a resin. The result is an extremely strong and lightweight wheel that can significantly improve the handling and performance of your McLaren 720S.

However, it’s important to note that while carbon fibre is an excellent material, it can be quite costly. Therefore, it may not be the best option for everyone.

The Final Verdict: Can Lightweight Forged Wheels Improve the Handling of a McLaren 720S?

In the world of performance vehicles, every little bit counts. By reducing the weight of your McLaren 720S with lightweight forged wheels, you can improve its handling and response. Whether you choose to go with forged aluminium wheels or take it a step further with carbon fibre, you’re sure to notice a difference in your car’s overall performance.

While cost may be a factor, especially when considering carbon fibre wheels, the improvement in performance can often justify the investment. After all, when it comes to high-performance track racing, every second counts.

The Influence of Wheel Materials: From Aluminum Alloy to Forged Magnesium

Delving deeper into the realm of wheel materials, it’s crucial to point out the different ones utilized in the forging process, each having its own merits and demerits. The original McLaren 720S wheels are made from an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is a common choice due to its excellent balance of weight, strength, and cost.

However, for those who desire a significant reduction in weight, forged magnesium wheels present an enticing option. Magnesium is incredibly light, and when forged, it displays an impressive tensile strength, meaning it can withstand high levels of stress without breaking or deforming. On the flip side, magnesium wheels can be on the pricier end compared to aluminum alloy ones.

Another alternative is Litespeed racing wheels, known for their high performance and aesthetically pleasing designs. Made from either carbon fiber or forged aluminum, these wheels are both lightweight and strong.

Regardless of the material you choose, it’s crucial to remember that the goal is to enhance the McLaren 720S’s performance without compromising its structural integrity or safety. Therefore, selection should be based on a balance of weight reduction, strength, and cost.

From MSO Defined Upgrades to Novitec Largo Packages

When looking to upgrade the McLaren 720S, owners might consider the MSO Defined options from McLaren itself. These upgrades include features like unique paint finishes, carbon fiber accents, and of course, lightweight forged wheels.

However, for those seeking a more bespoke touch, third-party tuning companies like Novitec offer comprehensive upgrade packages for the McLaren 720S. Known as the Novitec Largo, this package includes a wide range of modifications from aerodynamics to performance enhancements, and lightweight forged wheels are one of these options.

It’s important to remember that any modifications to your vehicle should aim to enhance your driving experience without compromising safety. Whether you opt for the MSO Defined upgrades or the Novitec Largo package, each offers unique benefits to cater to different driving styles and preferences.

In Conclusion: The Unprecedented Balance of the McLaren 720S

When discussing the McLaren 720S, we’re inevitably talking about a blend of exceptional power, innovative design, and unrivalled speed. This Super Series beast, with its capacity to hit 60 mph in a staggering 2.9 seconds, owes a lot to its meticulously crafted engine and its aerodynamic design, including features like the active rear wing.

However, as discussed throughout the article, the choice of wheels has a significant impact on the vehicle’s handling and overall performance. Lightweight forged wheels, whether made from aluminum alloy, forged magnesium, or even carbon fibre, can indeed improve the handling of a McLaren 720S. They offer a reduction in both overall and unsprung weight, increased responsiveness, and potentially, a faster lap time on the track.

While the investment required for such upgrades, especially for materials like carbon fibre, might be high, the improved driving experience and performance can make the upgrade well worth it. After all, in the world of high-performance car enthusiasts, every ounce counts, and every second matters. With the right set of lightweight forged wheels, your McLaren 720S can offer an even more exhilarating driving experience.