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The new McLaren 720S Spider is a 202mph convertible

Woking’s new supercar is a £237,000, turbo V8 with a folding hard top

Published: 08 Dec 2018

Winter. Perfect time to unwrap a V8-engined turbo supercar. This is McLaren’s newest: the 720S Spider, and it is a 202mph convertible with a folding hard top. Merry Christmas.

It follows the 720S Coupe, using a development of that car’s Monocage II carbon fibre core. Here, it’s dubbed Monocage II-S, which ditches the ‘spine’ running front to rear, and features a redesigned upper rear structure to accommodate that new folding roof.

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And because of that roof and associated tonneau, the 720S Spider is 49kg heavier than the Coupe, weighing in at 1,332kg dry. McLaren says it’s the “lightest car in its competitive set”. A Ferrari 488 Spider is in the 720S’s competitive set, and weighs 1,420kg dry.

There’s the familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 matched to a seven-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive, producing the same 710bhp and 568lb ft of torque as the Coupe. Thus it records the same 0-62mph time of 2.9secs, 0-124mph in 7.9secs (a tenth slower than the 720S Coupe), a quarter mile time of 10.4secs and top speed of 212mph. That’s with the roof up.

Roof down – which takes just 11 seconds – it’ll do 202mph. That folding hard top gets a one-piece carbon-fibre roof panel, which is electrically operated up to speeds of 31mph, and – as a mark of progress – is six seconds faster than the roof on the old 650S Spider.

We’re told said hard top’s operational noise is “on par with background noise in a quiet library”. McLaren’s engineers have clearly been spending a lot of time brushing up on their reading, then.

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They’ve reworked the underfloor aero to work with the new rear and full-width active spoiler of the Spider, and there’s the option of a carbon-framed, glazed roof option that allows more light into the cabin. It tints too, if you hit a button.

Elsewhere – aside from the new ten-spoke forged alloys and new exterior colour options – it’s the same as the Coupe. Same chassis tech, same handling modes, same interior.

Yours from £237,000.

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