Woking’s new 530kW open-top supercar will crack 320km/h even with the roof down
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 530kW, 772Nm 4 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the coupé, a car that it also shares its 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds, despite its extra weight. The 0-200km/h time is 7.9 seconds, 0.1 second adrift of the coupe. The 488 Spider, meanwhile, can crack 0-100km/h in 3 seconds and 0-200km/h in 8.7 seconds.
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 carbon fibre, that aims to preserve as much of the coupé’s style as possible. The electrically-driven mechanism raises and lowers the roof in just 11 seconds, a 6 seconds improvement over the 650S Spider. It can be operated at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Even with the roof down, the 720S Spider still tops 320km/h – its top speed is 323km/h with the roof down. With the roof up, it can do 340km/h. If you don’t want to drive 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 carbon fibre 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 carbon fibre 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.