It’s winter elsewhere in the world. The perfect time, apparently, to unwrap a V8-engined turbo supercar. This is McLaren’s newest: the 720S Spider with a folding hardtop. Merry Christmas.
It follows the 720S Coupe, using a development of that car’s Monocage II carbon-fiber 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.
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-liter twin-turbo V8 matched to a seven-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive, producing the same 710hp and 769Nm of torque as the Coupe. So, it records the same 0-100kph time of 2.9sec, 0-200kph in 7.9sec (a tenth slower than the 720S Coupe), a quarter-mile time of 10.4sec, and a top speed of 341kph. That’s with the roof up.
Roof down—which takes just 11sec—it’ll do 325kph. That folding hardtop gets a one-piece carbon-fiber roof panel, which is electrically operated up to speeds of 50kph, and, as a mark of progress, is 6sec faster than the roof on the old 650S Spider. We’re told its 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.
They’ve reworked the underfloor aero to go with the new rear and full-width active spoiler of the Spider, and there’s the option of a carbon-framed glazed roof that allows more light into the cabin. It tints, too, if you hit a button.
Elsewhere—aside from the new 10-spoke forged alloys and new exterior color options—it’s the same as the Coupe. Same chassis tech, same handling modes, same interior. Yours from £237,000 (P15.8 million).
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.