Summer. Perfect time to unwrap a V8-engined turbo supercar. This is McLaren’s newest: the 720S Spider, and it is a 325km/h convertible with a folding hard top. Merry Christmas.
It follows the 720S Coupe, using a development of that car’s Monocage II carbon fibre core. Here, it’s dubbed Monocage II-S, which ditches the ‘spine’ running front to rear, and features a redesigned upper rear structure to accommodate that new folding roof.
And because of that roof and associated tonneau, the 720S Spider is 49kg heavier than the Coupe, weighing in at 1,332kg dry. McLaren says it’s the “lightest car in its competitive set”. A Ferrari 488 Spider is in the 720S’s competitive set, and weighs 1,420kg dry.
There’s the familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 matched to a seven-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive, producing the same 530kW and 770Nm of torque as the Coupe. Thus it records the same 0-100kph time of 2.9secs, 0-200kph in 7.9secs (a tenth slower than the 720S Coupe), a quarter mile time of 10.4secs and top speed of 340kph. That’s with the roof up.
Roof down – which takes just 11 seconds – the 720 S spider will do 325kph. That folding hard top gets a one-piece carbon-fibre roof panel, which is electrically operated up to speeds of 50kph, and – as a mark of progress – is six seconds faster than the roof on the old 650S Spider.
We’re told said hard top’s operational noise is “on par with background noise in a quiet library”. McLaren’s engineers have clearly been spending a lot of time brushing up on their reading, then.
They’ve reworked the underfloor aero to work with the new rear and full-width active spoiler of the 720S Spider, and there’s the option of a carbon-framed, glazed roof option that allows more light into the cabin. It tints too, if you hit a button.
Elsewhere – aside from the new ten-spoke forged alloys and new exterior colour options – the 720S Spider is the same as the Coupe. Same chassis tech, same handling modes, same interior.