Exotic Cars

McLaren 720S Spider is Britain's newest 212 mph convertible

If you've got the roof down, you can "only" do 202 mph.

McLaren

McLaren Automotive now has a way for drivers to mess up their hair even faster with the introduction of the 720S Spider. Just like the coupe, the roofless McLaren 720S packs 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, and will rocket to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 2.8 seconds.

The 720S Spider is built around what McLaren calls the Monocage II-S carbon-fiber tub, a variant of the Monocage II tub used for the 720S coupe. All told, the Spider is only 108 pounds -- or just under 4 percent -- heavier than the coupe. With such little weight gain, McLaren says that the 720S Spider's quarter-mile time is only one-tenth of a second slower than the coupe's, at a brisk 10.4 seconds.

McLaren 720S Spider

Same 720S, now with more fresh air.

McLaren

As in the 720S coupe, power for the Spider comes from McLaren's twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8, with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels. The car also boasts carbon-ceramic brakes, Pirelli P-Zero tires and adaptive suspension.

The McLaren 720S Spider does not look dramatically different from the coupe with the roof closed. The power-retracting roof can be lowered in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. (The 650S Spider, by contrast, needed 17 seconds to operate the roof and doing so could only be accomplished at up to 18.5 mph.) McLaren says it has registered three patents on the roof mechanism. An optional electrochromic glass roof panel can alternate between tinted and transparent at the touch of a button.

Top speed with the roof up is 212 mph, matching the 720S Coupe, while with the roof open the 720S Spider can manage 202 mph.

The automaker says that a new design for the window and the tonneau cover improve rear and over-the-shoulder visibility compared to prior McLaren convertibles, too. The active rear spoiler automatically adjusts its behavior to compensate for how the car's aerodynamics change when the roof is open versus closed.

Order books for the McLaren 720S are open now, with the first deliveries scheduled for March 2019. The car is priced from $315,000 in the US.