McLaren 720S Spider Unveiled To Fight Ferrari 488 Spider
After refreshing its Ultimate Series with the track-focused Senna and the three-seater Speedtail earlier this year, McLaren is now updating the “lower-tier” Super Series by introducing the 720S Spider. We’ve shared a plethora of drag races demonstrating the insane performance of the coupe, and the good news is the droptop version has an identical sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) time of 2.9 seconds.
That’s because McLaren has figured out a way to limit the weight penalty commanded by the more complex roof to only 49 kilograms (108 pounds). In other words, the 720S Spider has a dry weight of only 1,332 kg (2,937 lbs) and that makes it 88 kg (194 lbs) lighter “than the dry weight of its closest competitor.” Without giving any names, the folks from Woking are obviously referring to the Ferrari 488 Spider.
As far as the sprint to 124 mph (200 kph) is concerned, the 720S Spider is a tad slower than its coupe counterpart, needing 7.9 seconds or a tenth of a second more. With the roof in place, it will max out at a coupe-matching 212 mph (341 kph). Folding in down will lower the velocity to a still mighty impressive 202 mph (325 kph) or just about the same as its rival from Italy.
So, how was McLaren able to keep weight in check? By developing a new electrically actuated retractable hardtop. It’s a one-piece carbon fiber roof panel, which takes a mere 11 seconds to lower or raise, thus making it a full six seconds quicker than the 650S Spider’s top. Another improvement over its predecessor is the maximum speed at which the driver can drop the top or raise it – 31 mph (50 kph) compared to the 18.5 mph (30 kph) of the 650S Spider.
McLaren goes on to mention the hardtop is quieter in operation up to the point it’s just like the “background noise in a quiet library.” Once the roof is up, the cabin is considerably quieter than the 650S Spider’s interior, so improvements have been made across all areas thanks to the patented RHT. Visibility shouldnt be much of an issue thanks to the glazed flying buttresses, which improve over-the-shoulder visibility by 12 percent compared to the old Super Series Spider model.
At an additional cost, the 720S Spider can be equipped with a glazed RHT featuring a carbon fiber frame allowing more light to come through the roof while it’s up. Since the glass is electrochromic, drivers will be able to easily switch between tinted or transparent by simply pressing a button.
Motivation comes from the familiar twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine with 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet (770 Newton-meters) of torque channeled to those 20-inch rear wheels through a seven-speed SSG with selectable Comfort, Sport, and Track modes.
As it’s the case with the coupe, McLaren will sell its new convertible in Standard, Performance, and Luxury flavors. A total of 23 colors are available, including this lovely new Belize Blue, plus a fresh Aztec Gold, and a Supernova Silver shade as a nod to the original 12C.
McLaren is already accepting orders for the 720S Spider and is asking $315,000 in the U.S. Deliveries are programmed to start in March 2019.