The new 720S Spider is pegged as the most accomplished convertible supercar McLaren has ever produced. It’s said to combine the thrill of open-air driving with unparalleled Super Series dynamic performance and sophistication. The 720S Spider is the equal of the 720S Coupé in practically every aspect, except its roof. Deliveries commence March 2019 with UK prices starting at £237,000.
Under the hood, the impressive 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine is unchanged from the Coupé. The 720S Spider can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, and 0-200km/h is achieved in just 7.9 seconds. That’s 0.1 seconds off the pace of the Coupé. It’s not much of a sacrifice when you consider the added benefit of open-air driving. Top speed is reached at 341km/h with the roof raised and 325km/h when the roof is off. The Spider weighs an additional 49kg over its Coupé counterpart.
Like all McLarens, the new Spider has a carbon fibre structure being the Monocage II-S, used for its strength, rigidity and light weight. Monocage II-S is a redevelopment of the Coupé ’s Monocage II, without the central ‘spine’ running front to rear above the cabin. It’s a convertible. We can’t have that. To provide enhanced rollover protection, there are fixed carbon fibre structural supports integrated into the rear.
The 720S Spider features a 360-degree canopy allowing light to flood into the cabin setting a new benchmark for visibility. The glazed flying buttresses further aid driver visibility as well as adding “visual drama” to the car.
The Retractable Hard Top and its folding mechanism are electrically rather than hydraulically driven, and the system is the fastest-operating convertible roof in the supercar class, with the top lowered or raised in just 11 seconds – six seconds quicker than the 650S Spider. Maximum vehicle speed during operation is 50km/h – a significant increase from the 30km/h of the 650S. The new hard top is twice as quiet in operation as the first-generation Super Series.
Owners can select a glazed retractable hard top with electrochromic glass. This can switch rapidly between a transparent or tinted state at the touch of a button. When the ignition is off, the glass reverts to its tinted setting, helping keep the cabin of the 720S Spider cool during hot days.
The active rear spoiler automatically activates to decrease drag or increase downforce and acts as an airbrake to enhance vehicle balance under heavy braking. Its performance is on par with the 720S Coupé. The deployment mapping is bespoke to each body style.
McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II hydraulic suspension is complemented by an electro-hydraulic steering system widely acknowledged for providing exceptionally pure precision and feedback. As with the Coupé, a Spider driver can choose between three Handling modes – Comfort, Sport, or Track.
A new 10-spoke, Lightweight forged alloy wheel design has been developed for the new Spider. Tyres are Pirelli P ZERO to provide the optimum balance of performance, grip, handling and comfort over a wide range of road conditions. There are 58 litres of storage available under the tonneau cover with the roof raised. The tonneau cover also sits lower than that of a 650S Spider – extending visibility by 7.5m.
The interior is the same as the 720S Coupé. The cabin offers the finest materials and the perception of space. The centrally-mounted 8.0-inch high-resolution Central Infotainment Screen remains the primary hub for the vehicle’s functions. The interface displays audio, media, navigation, climate control and other convenience features, with all the key applications shown on a vertical carousel as well as being available via quick-access ‘hard’ keys below the screen.
The dual-zone climate control and air conditioning system has been recalibrated for the 720S Spider and can detect the retractable hard top position and automatically adjusts to accommodate.
The new 720S Spider is available in the same three specifications as the Coupé, with Performance and Luxury trims extending above the standard model. Two new exterior colours – Belize Blue and Aztec Gold – have been introduced for the new Spider bringing the total to 23.
McLaren’s 720S Spider doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Basically, it’s the 720 Coupé with a retractable hard top and a few minor alterations to accommodate the roof. Let me be clear. In no way is having a convertible option a bad thing.