McLaren Automotive, the British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars, is expanding its Super Series product family with the introduction of a second new model under the £1.2bn Track25 business plan and its most accomplished convertible supercar ever: the new 720S Spider.
Revealed and available to order with immediate effect, the new 720S Spider delivers the exhilaration of open-air driving and levels of day-to-day usability unseen in the convertible supercar class.
“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. 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 design foundations of the new McLaren Spider are the seamless and organic forms introduced in 2017 with the 720S Coupé. Combining to maximise downforce, minimise drag, enhance powertrain cooling and optimise aerodynamic performance, these shapes produce an overall appearance akin to a futuristic sculpture, formed by the air that flows over, under, around and through it. A new, electrically actuated Retractable Hard Top (RHT) is seamlessly integrated into the design, as are new buttresses.
Patented, one-piece Retractable Hard Top is fastest-operating supercar convertible roof
Glazed retractable roof panel, with electrochromic glass able to be transparent or tinted
The Retractable Hard Top (RHT) of the 720S Spider is a completely new design, with a one-piece, carbon fibre roof panel as standard. The hardtop maintains the distinctive silhouette and aerodynamic purity of the 720S Coupé and provides a full carbon fibre upper structure when the roof is closed. The folding mechanism for McLaren’s new RHT is electrically rather than hydraulically driven and the system 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 (31mph) – a significant increase from the 30km/h (18.5mph) of the 650S. With these performance statistics, it is no surprise that McLaren has registered three worldwide patents for the roof system.
The new RHT is twice as quiet in operation as the first-generation Super Series convertible, with occupants experiencing additional sound on par with background noise in a quiet library when the roof is operating. This serenity is indicative of exceptional refinement overall, with noise levels inside the cabin of the Spider with the roof raised measurably less than those experienced in a 650S Coupé – true testament to the engineering precision pursued throughout the development of the second-generation Super Series.
A rear window lowers automatically when the RHT is opened, moving to the optimum position to minimise airflow intrusion into the cabin. The window is also independently controllable, allowing occupants to lower it when the roof is closed and invite the sound of the powertrain into the cabin. The fact that the buttresses at their highest point are 25mm lower than those of a 650S Spider allows air to flow over the cabin, reducing turbulence to a bare minimum.
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 if they so choose: 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.
The interior is the same welcoming and luxurious supercar cabin enjoyed by 720S Coupé drivers. Opening a door – which is now a frameless design to accommodate the RHT system - provides access to a truly sophisticated environment, with an extraordinary perception of space and the finest materials in evidence. A new door hinge system and gas strut position was possible without issue because from the outset the 720S programme included both Coupé and Spider bodystyles.
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. The temperature and airflow is automatically adjusted, warming or cooling occupants according to the ambient settings already selected by increasing airflow into the cabin and moving more air to the footwell or upper cabin areas.