Never mind the 488 Spider, is the new drop-top McLaren 720 an Aventador S competitor?
The McLaren 720S coupe was first launched in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show, so it has taken a little while for McLaren to reveal the open-top version. Has it has been worth the wait?
The 720S Spider in numbers
2.9 seconds to 62 mph – same as the coupe.
11 seconds – time taken to lower or raise the roof
31 mph – retractable hardtop can be raised or lowered up to 31 mph
202 mph top speed with roof down.
212 mph top speed with roof up.
1,332 kg – 49kg more than the coupe, 88KG less than a Ferrari 488 Spider
£237,000 starting price in the UK
The inherent strength of the 720S’ existing Monocage structure means that the spider’s chassis hasn’t needed any further strengthening and even the slender A-pillars from the coupe remain. That means it is still light and good-looking.
McLaren have used the familiar “flying buttress” rollover protection seen on earlier Super Series, but the supports are now made from carbon fibre instead of steel. The flying buttresses are also glazed, so the spider retains the glass canopy design and excellent all-round round visibility of the coupe.
McLaren have also developed a new lightweight 10-spoke forged alloy wheel for the spider and introduced two new exterior colours – Belize Blue and Aztec Gold – as well as Supernova Silver, a heritage colour first seen on the 12C.
The 720S spider uses the same 4.0 twin-turbo V8 as the coupe, so performance is essentially identical.
Although similar in weight to its most obvious rival – the Ferrari 488 Spider – the 720 is nearly as powerful as the Lamborghini Aventador S (the Aventador boasts just 10 BHP more) but weighs nearly 300KG less. The 720 is slightly quicker to 62 mph (2.9 vs 3.0 seconds) and loses just 5 mph top speed to the Italian.
Retractable Hard Top.
McLaren claims that the carbon RHT is the fastest operating roof in the supercar class. It uses electronic motors rather than the more traditional hydraulic units to open or close the roof in a mere 11 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. Compare that to the 650S spider which took 17 seconds to open or close at a maximum speed of 18.5 mph. McLaren have registered three worldwide patents for the roof system. A glass option of the retractable hardtop is also available.
The rear spoiler on the spider is identical to that on the coupe but has a new deployment software map that adjusts the aero settings dependent on whether the roof is raised or lowered.
Given the breadth of its abilities, great looks, technology and the amazing performance levels the 720S Spider adds a whole new dimension to the coupe’s excellent package for just £30,000 more.
Images courtesy of McLaren Automotive. Magnitude Finance and DSG Financial Services are approved suppliers to McLaren dealers in the UK.
Gallery – McLaren 720S Spider
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