Woking's new 710bhp open-top supercar will crack 200mph even with the roof down
Mark Tisshaw
8 December 2018

McLaren has revealed its new 720S Spider, which it claims is the lightest of any open-top supercar on sale.

The 720S Spider, revealed tonight at McLaren’s annual Winter Ball, weighs just 49kg more than the McLaren 720S coupé on which it is based, and, at a dry weight 1332kg, is 88kg lighter than the 1420kg Ferrari 488 Spider, the class’s current champion lightweight.

The new open-top McLaren uses the same 710bhp, 568lb ft 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the coupé, a car that it also shares its 0-62mph time of 2.9sec, despite its extra weight. The 0-124mph time is 7.9sec, 0.1sec adrift of the coupe. The 488 Spider, meanwhile, can crack 0-62mph in 3.0sec and 0-124mph in 8.7sec.

The 720S Spider uses a retractable hard-top roof, which is a completely new design over the previous 650S Spider. It is a single piece of carbonfibre, that aims to preserve as much of the coupé’s style as possible. The electrically-driven mechanism raises and lowers the roof in just 11secs, a 6sec improvement over the 650S Spider. It can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph.

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McLaren 720S

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Even with the roof down, the 720S Spider still tops 200mph – its top speed is 202mph with the roof down. With the roof up, it can do 212mph. If you don’t want to drive the fast with the roof down, McLaren will let you specify the car with a glazed roof panel, that can be switched between being transparent and opaque at the touch of a button.

One feature that carries over from the 650S Spider is the small glass rear window, which can be lowered even with the roof up. This floods the cabin with noise from the V8 engine behind it. 

One other new design touches on the 720S includes the glazed flying buttresses, which also improve the car’s aerodynamics, along with a series of aerodynamic tweaks and optimisations at the rear of the car and underneath. The active rear spoiler also gets its own mapping that’s bespoke to the Spider. 

Those glazed buttresses also allow for better rear visibility, and increase the amount of light coming into the car. 

McLaren’s carbonfibre Monocage II-S structure includes rollover protection, so no extra chassis strengthening is needed to turn the 720S from a coupé to a Spider. Of course, it does without the coupe’s central carbonfibre spine in the roof that allows for the dramatic dihedral doors, something the Spider does without. 

The cabin of the 720S coupé carries over to the 720S Spider largely unchanged, as does the three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Track – selectable for the hydraulic suspension system. 

Another new touch for the 720S Spider is a new design of 10-spoke alloy wheels, while two new colour choices are added to the palette of 23, along with the return of a shade of silver last offered on the 12C.

Prices for the new McLaren 720S Spider start from £237,000. That’s a rise of almost £20,000 over the 720S coupé.

Read Autocar's full review of the McLaren 720S coupé

 

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Comments
11

8 December 2018
McLaren seem to have done it again. Ferrari watch out.

9 December 2018

McLaren are becoming more unique, confident and bold in their styling, and that is just a very good thing. Those glazed buttresses are interesting and gorgeous. Just wish I could sit in one, let alone ever drive or own one!

9 December 2018
Synase wrote:

McLaren are becoming more unique, confident and bold in their styling, and that is just a very good thing. Those glazed buttresses are interesting and gorgeous. Just wish I could sit in one, let alone ever drive or own one!

 

Agreed, a beautiful blend of design and engineering. 

9 December 2018

Shame the parcel shelf is gone but what a package. Let's hope this version has less of the issues the 720s had on launch. 

9 December 2018

Just drooled all over the keyboard.

9 December 2018

  looks like an evolution of the Elise?, from the side l see elements of the old Elise, maybe it’s the color?

Peter Cavellini.

9 December 2018

Would love to hear the noise! I can still clearly remember the ‘jet engine’ grade noise when my (then) teenage daughter unexpectedly opened the window at about 135. She got such a fright she couldn’t work the Close Button for quite a while. 

200 without a helmet must be mind-bending.

9 December 2018

 Much as it’s a great Car, well, it is , it’s thee Car just now, I don’t think I’d like to do 200mph in a Car with no Roof, if I wanted to hear the Eng8ne on the move, I’d crank the Window down a couple of notches.

Peter Cavellini.

9 December 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Much as it’s a great Car, well, it is , it’s thee Car just now, I don’t think I’d like to do 200mph in a Car with no Roof, if I wanted to hear the Eng8ne on the move, I’d crank the Window down a couple of notches.

 

Easy on the wine there Peter.

9 December 2018

A very seductive shape and a vast improvement from the usual bland offerings from McLaren (the original F1 apart)

Rare in a contemporary car is that, in profile, all the articulation lines now work together as an ensemble.

Wish there were more pictures of the interior, which needs an injection of flair and imagination. 

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