How To Activate The Easter Egg In The McLaren 720S' Exhaust

The McLaren 720S has a 710 horsepower twin-turbo V8 that produces a powerful but generally inoffensive exhaust note. I mean, as long as you’re gentle with the gas pedal. Flip a couple extra switches and its full violence can be felt with a little trick McLaren calls “hot start.”


The “hot start” name is literal—the engine actually has to be at operating temperature in order for the trick to work, because basically what’s happening is that heat is being directed to ignite a little unburnt fuel in the exhaust system.


To make it happen, find yourself a McLaren 720S that’s been running hard, push the start button with your foot off the brake you can access the electronic controls and put the powertrain “Track Mode.” This will prime the car to change its delivery of spark and fuel. Then when you put your boot on the brake and press the start button again —BRAAAP—it wakes up with a snap-crackle thunder to scare your rivals into submission.

So basically, this is the 720S’ haka. Which I’m sure would make Bruce McLaren, a New Zealand native, very proud.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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PotbellyJoe and 42 others

So the original design is effectively the software version of the banana in the tailpipe...