Porsche 911 Turbo S versus McLaren 720S in drag race

  • Thursday 1st January 1970

The McLaren's significant power-to-weight advantage would seemingly make this a one-horse race, but the result may surprise you.

A quarter mile drag race between the new Porsche 911 Turbo S and a McLaren 720S has been conducted by carwow.com, with the results demonstrating the data as it appears on paper – or in the brochure – can be deceiving.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S is powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat six-cylinder engine that produces 478kW/800Nm.

The lightest variant weighs 1715kg.

Pricing in Australia for the Porsche 911 Turbo S starts from $473,500 plus on-road costs.

Meanwhile, the McLaren 720S is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 530kW/770Nm.

The lightest variant weighs 1419kg.

The McLaren is therefore more powerful (by a margin of 52kW), and carries substantially less weight (by a margin of 296kg).

Pricing in Australia starts from $489,900 plus on-road costs.

Prevailing logic would suggest this power-to-weight advantage should be insurmountable when it comes to quarter mile (400 metre) dominance.

Regardless, the Porsche’s all-wheel drive system, superior launch control, and torquey engine allowed it to overcome these deficits from a standing start.

The Porsche 911 S crossed the line in 10.1 seconds, while the 720S took 10.4 seconds to go the distance.

In the second half of the video the race was repeated, this time with a 50mph (80kmh) rolling start.

Under these conditions the McLaren's power advantage proved too much.

Watch the full video below, and tell us if you think it was a fair race.