720S Spider makes a debut in the McLaren Super Series family

McLaren Automotive recently launched the 720S Spider, a hard-top convertible under its Super Series family. Based on the 720S Coupé, the new Spider combines the thrill of open-air driving with Super Series dynamic performance and sophistication. It is the second model to be launched under the ambitious £1.2billion Track25 business plan.

McLaren Automotive recently launched the 720S Spider, a hard-top convertible under its Super Series family. Based on the 720S Coupé, the new Spider combines the thrill of open-air driving with Super Series dynamic performance and sophistication. It is the second model to be launched under the ambitious £1.2billion Track25 business plan.

The new McLaren 720S Spider offers an unparalleled blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury, driver involvement and daily usability – all with the additional exhilaration of open-air driving whenever required,” said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

“As the most accomplished convertible supercar ever, the new Spider delivers across a remarkable spectrum of abilities to outstandingly high levels, and as lightest in class with an increase of just 49kg over the 720S Coupé, moves us even further ahead of our competition in the weight race.” – Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

The Spider is built on the same foundation, uses the same components and body-work as the 720S Coupé introduced in 2017. The differences between the two are largely due to the introduction of the Retractable Hard Top.

The light, stiff and extremely strong Monocage II-S carbon fibre core of the Spider, a development of the Coupé’s Monocage II, features integrated roll-over protection structure and needed no additional strengthening over its predecessor. The rearmost section of the upper structure has been modified to accommodate the RHT and to maximise luggage space at 58 litres with the roof raised. The header rail across the top of the windscreen has also been modified to integrate the central latching mechanism.

The RTH of the 720S Spider is an entirely new design with three worldwide patents. The one-piece, carbon fibre roof allows the Spider to retain the distinctive silhouette of the Coupé while providing comparable upper structure rigidity when the roof is raised. The electrical folding mechanism of the roof takes just 11 seconds to fully lower or raise the roof, making it the fastest-operating convertible roof in the supercar class, and that too with a maximum operating speed of 50kmph, a significant improvement of the 30kmph limit of the 650S. The cabin is twice as quiet in operation as the 650S with the cabin sound “on par with background noise in a quiet library” with the roof closed.

The canopy-like design of the 720S Coupé has been highly praised for the 360-degree visibility it provides. This design philosophy has been carried over to the Spider’s roof design. For the open-air experience even with the roof closed, a customer can opt for the carbon fibre-framed, glazed-glass RHT. The glass is electrochromic and can switch rapidly between a transparent or tinted state at the touch of a button.  When the ignition is off, the glass reverts to its tinted setting, and has a memory function that recalls the previous setting when the ignition is turned on.

The unique, glazed flying-buttresses further adds to driver visibility. The leading edge of the buttress features an aerodynamic carrier to guide airflow, before dramatically tapering off to expose darkened glazing; the design and the use of glass delivers a 12 per cent improvement in over-the-shoulder visibility compared to the 650S. The buttresses also aid in reducing turbulence to a bare minimum by allowing air to flow over the cabin.

The rear window lowers automatically when the RHT is opened to minimise airflow intrusion into the cabin.  The window can also be manually controlled, allowing occupants to lower it when the roof is closed and invite the sound of the V8 into the cabin.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine is unchanged from the Coupé and is capable of producing 710 bhp at 7,500 rpm. However, the Spider has the lightest-in-class weight resulting in a 0-to-100 kmph acceleration in just 2.9 seconds, and 0-to-200 kmph in 7.9 seconds, both are a mere 0.1 seconds slower than the Coupé. The Spider can hit a Coupé-matching top speed of 341 kmph with the roof raised and with the roof lowered it can hit 325 kmph.

The rear spoiler is identical on both Coupé and Spider; however, the deployment mapping has been customised for the Spider; the aero settings differ depending on whether the RHT is raised or lowered. As with the Coupé, the Spider also offers three Handling modes: Comfort, Sport, or Track.

The Spider has the same three interior specifications as the Coupé, with Performance and Luxury trims extending above the standard model.  Two new exterior colours – Belize Blue and Aztec Gold – have been introduced for the Spider among a palette of 23, one of which is Supernova Silver, a Heritage colour that was first available on the McLaren 12C. A new 10-spoke, lightweight forged alloy wheel design has been developed for the Spider and to go with the range of Pirelli tyres developed for the Coupé.

McLaren has priced the 720S Spider £237,000 onwards in the UK and deliveries to customers are scheduled to commence in March 2019.