When it comes to performance, cars are generally judged by three metrics: 0-60 time, quarter-mile time, and top speed. For the most part, it's not hard to fact-check automakers on the first two stats. Maxing a car out is a different story, especially if it’s a mental hypercar like the McLaren 720S. Unless you have a blessedly clear and straight stretch of German Autobahn or a rented-out high-speed course, there’s no way to know if those claims of 200-plus mph are accurate. In the case of the 720S, McLaren says it will do 212 mph flat out.
We already know that it’s capable of such velocity, and a bit more besides. Last week we covered a video from Jöhmer Proving Grounds shot in 2017, featuring a stock 720S running 215 mph. Now, the group has a newer model on-site and shot video at the same location, and this one managed to go just a bit faster. Admittely, it’s just a single mph over the previous run, but hey, 216 is faster than 215, right?
Gallery: Fastest Stock McLaren 720S
As with the previous video, this one gives us some outside shots as well as an in-car perspective for the 2.3-mile sprint. Unfortunately, the previous video doesn’t offer information on atmospheric conditions so we can’t compare things like temperature and humidity, but we do know that earlier run featured a 2017 McClaren 720S. The latest pass involves a 2019 model, though horsepower and torque ratings should be identical.
In any case, the hypercar wastes no time in blasting to 200, but the climb beyond that milestone slows down considerably. Still, this 2019 model seems to pull beyond 210 mph a bit quicker than the older 720S. 216 arrives shortly before the shutdown area, but we suspect that was all the McLaren had, anyway.
Oh, if you thought you saw a freaking Space Shuttle parked along the runway at the 1:31 mark, you’re not wrong. Jonny Böhmer Proving Grounds actually uses NASA’s former Space Shuttle runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for its testing, and why not? The surface is ultra-smooth and almost perfectly flat from one end to the other – all the better for big spacecraft to land on. Automakers will often partake in aerodynamic testing at the location, but folks seeking a top-speed thrill are obviously welcome as well.
Putting an exotic supercar through its paces at the same place where the Space Shuttle used to land? Sign us up.
2019 McLaren 720S Top Speed Test
The Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds (JBPG) runway, located in Merritt Island FL. is not only the widest and flattest runway in the world but also close to the longest. For over 10 years, Johnny Bohmer has been performing Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing for many manufacturers and thousands of vehicles here. The all concrete runway is 3 miles long with an additional 1000 ft. asphalt runoff on each end. The runway is also 100 yds. wide with an additional 50ft wide traffic lane on each side and has an elevation variance of only ¼ in. from north to south over the 3 miles making this one of the flattest, large surface concrete platforms in the world. You hardly notice the 24 in. crown in the center of the runway due to the immense width of the surface. In todays’ time, the availability of concrete would make this runway impossible to build. The traction is also substantially better here than any street surface; not as good as a drag strip, but much better than the street.
Johnny Bohmer has developed a program to debunk myths and fact check the manufacturer’s claims of vehicles performance. While testing the vehicles, Johnny’s team will data log each vehicle and record the findings. These have been useful to many manufacturers because of the vehicles ability to drive at speed for 2.5 miles while still have a safe, shut down area. Performance videos will be posted to the public on the recently started, Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel.
The vehicles being tested are timed and speed checked with Garmin and GoPro interior monitoring
systems. External timing and speed are performed by the International Mile Racing Association (IMRA)
who is a sanctioning body accepted by numerous auto groups and the Guinness Book of World Records. Johnny and his team will routinely test ½ mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile, 2 mile, 2.3 mile, 2.5 mile and 2.7 mile distances. Manufacturers come from all over the world to test many types of vehicles at JBPG including sports cars, race cars, tractor trailers, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, fire safety, law enforcement and the list goes on.
On March 9, 2019, Johnny Bohmer had a small group of vehicles testing at JBPG; ranging from the
Bugatti Chiron and Porsche GT2RS to the Ford GT and Nissan GTR. The weather conditions that day are
Dew point: 18C/64.4F
Wind: 00000kt (0 mph)
Surface Temp: 25C/77F
Dew point: 18C/64.4F
Wind: 09008kt (9 MPH)
Wind Direction: Southeast
Surface Temp: 33.9C/93F
Of the vehicles testing, one we were interested in seeing was a 2019 McLaren 720S. With a 4.0 litre, twin turbo, V8 engine making 710HP, we were eager to see how this vehicle would perform.
The professional driver lined up for the 2.7 mile test and was able to achieve an incredible, 216.081 MPH (347.749 KPH) speed.
One of the main functions of the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds is to safely determine all aspects of a vehicle’s performance capabilities while determining the accuracy of the manufacturer’s claims.
Last but not least, please subscribe to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel as we
continue to perform more testing with some of your favorite vehicles.