McLaren has expanded its Super Series product family with the introduction of a second new model under the “Track25” business plan - the new 720S Spider.
Weighing 49 kg over the 720S Coupe, the 720S Spider features a new, electrically actuated Retractable Hard Top (RHT) which is seamlessly integrated into the design.
The folding mechanism for McLaren’s new RHT, which is electrically driven rather than hydraulically, is the fastest-operating convertible roof in the supercar class, with the retractable hard top lowered or raised in just 11 seconds – six seconds quicker than the 650S Spider.
The combination of e-motors and the strength and light weight of the carbon fibre RHT enables a maximum vehicle speed during operation of 50km/h – a significant increase from the 30km/h of the 650S.
Like all McLaren cars, the new 720S Spider has a carbon fibre structure at its core, in this case the designated Monocage II-S platform.
The rearmost section of the upper structure is also unique to the Spider, to accommodate the Retractable Hard Top. Additionally, the header rail across the top of the windscreen has been revised to integrate the central latching mechanism.
Despite the removal of the fixed roof there is no additional strengthening. Even the unusually slim but incredibly strong windscreen A-pillars first seen on the 720S Coupé remain.
To accommodate the Retractable Hard Top, the Monocage II-S features a new carbon fibre upper structure engineered to sit as close as possible to the air charge coolers and intake plenum.
Powering the 720S Spider is the same mid-mounted 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that powers the Coupé, producing 720 PS and 770 Nm. Paired to the engine is a 7-speed SSG gearbox.
Acceleration is nothing short of phenomenal with 0-100km/h covered in 2.9 seconds and 0-200km/h achieved in just 7.9 seconds – just 0.1 seconds off the pace of the Coupé.
While the Spider is capable of clocking a top speed 341km/h with the roof raised, the maximum speed when the roof is closed stands at 325km/h.
As with the Coupé, a Spider driver can choose between three Handling modes – Comfort, Sport, or Track – each focused on a different driving experience according to personal preference and conditions.
Owners wanting to experience the open-air nature of the 720S Spider even with the roof closed can specify a carbon fibre-framed, glazed RHT option to allow even more light into the cabin.
How it works is that 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, helping keep the cabin of the 720S Spider cool during hot days.
The electrochromic technology has a memory function that recalls the previous setting selected when the vehicle is next started.
Inside, a centrally-mounted 8.0-inch high-resolution Central Infotainment Screen remains the primary hub for the vehicle’s functions. The interface displays audio, media, navigation, climate control and other convenience features, with all the key applications shown on a vertical carousel as well as being available via quick-access ‘hard’ keys below the screen.
The dual-zone climate control and air conditioning system has been recalibrated for the 720S Spider and is able to detect if the RHT position changes from raised to lowered or vice versa.
Last but not least, a new 10-spoke, Lightweight forged alloy wheel design has been developed for the new Spider.
The new 720S Spider is available in the same three 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 new Spider among a palette of 23, one of which is Supernova Silver, a Heritage colour that was first available on the McLaren 12C.