Jay Leno Gets To Grips With A Very Special McLaren 720S

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The guys over at 1016 Industries made the supercar lighter and more powerful.

If you're obsessed with supercars, chances are you've heard of 1016 Industries. The USA-based tuner specializes in transforming incredible exotics into truly mind-blowing creations. But the tuner is best known for its sublime McLaren 720S, which debuted as the world's first exposed carbon fiber example. Company CEO Peter Northrop recently gave Jay Leno an in-depth tour of the vehicle, giving us a deeper understanding of this incredible creation.

Northrop explains the work 1016 Industries does to reduce vehicle weight. "Every single part of the body, from the front bumper to the door - even the back of the car - is completely redesigned and made by our engineering team, with the sole purpose of making the car lighter." But the McLaren 720S is already a good car, so what's the point?

Northrop says it's all about making a really great car even better.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

That carbon fiber widebody isn't just for show. The track has been widened too, with Northrop noting it's wider by 3.74 inches up front and 4.72 inches at the back. The lightweight body itself adds an additional 4.72 inches to the overall vehicle width.

The company's CEO explains that the team spent a lot of time analyzing how they could optimize the 720S in terms of weight reduction. The carbon fiber panels used on the doors, for example, save 75 lbs alone. "[With] carbon fiber, you're not doing high volume, so we're able to do a lot more with the material ... we spent a lot of time figuring out all the different areas we could take weight out, while still maintaining the integrity of the car."

Overall, 400 lbs have been removed from the stock 3,139-lb curb weight, making this one light supercar.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

Northrop points to the fixed rear wing as a particularly demanding project. "It was a nightmare. The factory wing flaps up and down. The hydraulic rams are tied into the same system for the transmission and suspension. It wasn't as simple as disabling the electronics ... so now the rams move [around] inside the wing."

The bespoke carbon fiber body panels have caught the eye of many supercar owners - and not for the reasons you think, explains Northrop. "Now, with manufacturers struggling to deliver replacement parts [for] crashed cars, we've had a lot of orders where people have a six-month lead time on a front bumper. They give us a call and we have it readily available ... we've had a lot of [crashed] cars where we're able to upgrade their car and provide them [with] something better," he adds.

Interestingly, Northrop says he has no interest in using carbon fiber wheels.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

"In order to go widebody, there's no fitment that we could use with carbon barrels," adds the CEO. He also notes that carbon fiber doesn't provide much weight saving when compared to thinner aluminum wheels. Northrop also adds that it impedes ride quality.

The engine hasn't escaped the 1016 treatment, either. Varying performance levels are on offer, but he notes they've gotten the output up to 1,150 horsepower by using upgraded turbos and intercoolers, race fuel, and a full exhaust. "It's actually very simple to get this car to be fast."

That's enough to get Leno behind the wheel. Immediately, the renowned car collector is impressed by the driving experience. "The thing I love about McLaren is that everything is so precise," says Leno. "It's amazing how billet like [it] feels. No flex, no cowl shake."

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

This isn't a track day special, with Northrop explaining that he happily uses this as his daily. "I really drive it every day. I have no problem turning this on and going out. Back in the day, you'd have to do the warmup cycle," he notes. It may not be an official package from McLaren, but Leno admits that the entire car feels like it came from the factory.

"It is fascinating to see. I like to see people making improvements on cars that don't look like they need any improvements. It's pretty exciting." Leno jokes that if he and Northrop got out of the McLaren, it would be quicker still.

Of course, 1016 Industries has multiple other ongoing projects besides this special 720S. Leno asked if Northrop would be offering kits for popular sports cars like the Mustang, but he has no plans to do so as mass production would prove too expensive. However, Northrop did hint at some plans involving an Audi RS6. We can't wait to see what it is.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

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