Yes, McLaren established its road car reputation with the incredible F1, but production of that model ended in 1998. It took another thirteen years before another road car rolled out of Woking, so when the 12C arrived in 2011, it was effectively a whole new start. Many considered that it wasn't quite on a par with the Ferrari 458 Italia, but was pretty close. Take into account that this was McLaren's first attempt in a segment dominated for decades by Ferrari and that's not a bad start.
Still, McLaren is a company that always strives for class leadership and being second best doesn't wash. So in 2014, they brought us the 650S, a development of the 12C with 25% new parts and an uprated 650PS engine - hence the name. In the course of its production life, the 650S was continually improved but what McLaren as really working up to was this, the 720S, its primary 'Super Series' model.