2020 McLaren 720S Spider: Supercar serenity
8:17

2020 McLaren 720S Spider: Supercar serenity

Cars
[BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] For several months of the year, Road Show's Detroit editors have to deal with some pretty unpleasant winter weather, but the snow and ice has finally melted. Spring has sprung. [MUSIC] And just in time too, because today I've got a very exciting super car to drive, and a convertible one at that. It is the McLaren 720s Spider. The name 720, of course, signifies this car's engine output and metric horsepower. That's equivalent to 710 horsepower the way we measure it. And I think that's gonna make this car pretty fun to drive. [SOUND] So let's see how it feels. [SOUND] It kind of like being flung out of a catapult or thrown down the first hill of a roller-coaster stuff. This car is astonishingly, brutally quick. It's quite ridiculous. To put some numbers on it, 0 to 60 takes 2.8 seconds, which is impressive. But the even more impressive statistic is this, 0 to 124 miles an hour takes 7.9 seconds. So in the amount of time it takes a normal family car to get to 60 miles an hour, this McLaren is doing double that speed. [LAUGH] It's just unbelievable. And when you do unleash all that power, this car will keep going all the way to 212 miles an hour, when you have the roof up, that is. When you've got the roof down like I have right now, it'll only do 202. But that's probably fast enough anyway. All that performance is courtesy of the 4 Litre Twin Turbo V8 that's sitting behind me. It's a seriously epic engine, 710 horse power as I said. Delivered all the way up at 75 rpm. And 568 pound to feet of torque, 5500 rpm. I actually really like that there's way more horsepower than torque, and that both of those torque and horsepower peaks are actually quite high in the rev range. These days, there's a lot of twin-turbo V8s and performance cars that are all about big, lazy, wafting torque from right off idle. And I kind of appreciate that the McLaren's engine asks you to, kind of demands you to rev it, and play with it, and work to get the power. Aside from all that straight line performance, this McLaren also has superlative levels of cornering [UNKNOWN] .Changes direction Transmission like a go-kart. That's thanks to the chassis and the wide sticky tires. But also all the aerodynamics of the scoops and vents and wings you see on the outside. But what's great about this car is that it is still entertaining to drive even when you're driving way, way below this car's very, very high limits. The really quick steering is really engaging and gives me a lot of feedback about the road. And in fact, the whole chassis does a really good job of transmitting a lot of Feel and feedback to the driver. [SOUND] And either way the sensation of speed is always amplified in any car when you have the roof opened. [SOUND] And when you're done playing around, the braking performance is absolutely exceptional as well. We've got It's got standard carbon ceramic rigs. The front disks are fifteen point four inches in diameter. That's huge! I've been in cars with smaller wheels than those breaks. And to help things out when I speed, the rear spoiler even pops up to act as an air break. But [UNKNOWN] says this car will stop from one hundred twenty four miles an hour to zero in under five seconds. and that's good news, because when you're driving this car on the streets you are going to be braking hard quite often. It's really tough to rein in on this car's performance. Ultimately, you could probably make the argument that this car is a little bit too fast for driving on public streets. It's not a criticism of the McLaren, it's actually a compliment to the breadth of its abilities. But the thing is, if you own a 720S, you really owe it to yourself to get it out on the track. Because only using a fraction of its capability out here on public roads, I can tell you is kind of a frustrating tease. Well we stopped allow me to give you a quick tour around this cast cabin. It is absolutely beautiful in hand with lovely switch gear, lovely leather throughout. I think this interior exterior color combo is probably the prettiest one I've seen on any 720s yet. Head of me I've got a fully digital instrument cluster with all the information I could need. I can also fold it down into this special track mode for a slightly more minimal look. As in other McLaren's I have two dials here for adjusting the power train and handling settings I can switch between comfort sport and track modes for both. I've also got buttons for choosing manual shifting and if you're feeling very very brave. Turning off the stability control there's even an option on this car called variable drift control which lets you set how much will drift angle you want the car's electronics to permit. I'd love to try that out and show you but as I said, we don't have a racetrack maybe next time. But if a drift control sounds cool, well, you haven't seen the sunroof yet. When the powered convertible top is up, I can choose whether I want the booth panels be opaque or transparent at the touch of a button When the sunshine comes out, I can lower the roof in just 11 seconds. And then you can also adjust this rear window to determine how much wind buffeting and engine noise you want within the cabin. Speaking of that convertible top, I'd be remiss if I didn't give you a little bit of nerdy trivia about this car. [MUSIC] Most of the time, convertibles are heavier than their hardtop equivalents because the car maker has to brace and stiffen the chassis once they chop the roof off. But not the case in the 720S Spyder, McLaren says its carbon fiber chassis called, Monocage 2S was so stiff already that no extra bracing was needed when they chopped the roof off. And that means this car is only 108 pounds heavier than the 720S Coupe. That's basically all down to the weight of the room and its mechanism, it's pretty cool. Anyway, that's enough of that, let's keep driving. [SOUND] One of the most incredible things about this 720 S, and really all McLarens, is how relatively easy it is to drive. It doesn't really beat you up in the way some super cars do. The McLaren's engineers even took extra efforts to make this car even more livable than the old 650S Spider. The rear tonneau cover is lower to improve rearward visibility, for instance. The windows were reshaped, so I've got 12% better over the shoulder visibility they say. And even the rear buttresses were redesigned so there'd be less wind buffeting Sitting in the cabin with the roof down. Those are all things that are gonna make this car much more enjoyable if you live with it every day or take it on a long trip. [BLANK_AUDIO] Even more praise for the livability of this car has to go to McLaren's hydraulically controlled suspension. It's called Proactive Chassis 2, and it does this remarkable job of giving you a very, very supple ride. In comfort mode but then really well controlling the body motions and sport in track modes you get that excellent handling. It's really and great balance between the two. And the brake pedal too has this nice little bit of a soft spot when you first get into the pedals so it's very progressive and usable in every day traffic. You don't feel like you're gonna plunge your nose on the steering wheel every time you break for a stop, [NOISE] Okay, so were there any negatives at all? Mm, it's really tough to think of things I don't like about this car. Feels like just grasping at straws. But I will say the seatback is pretty stiff, gets a little bit uncomfortable over longer journeys. There's not really very much cabin storage at all. There's no glove box on the center console compartment. Is absolutely tiny. And then there's the price, it starts at $315,000. And this one I'm told is more like $411,000. But of course, all 200 mile an hour supercars cost a lot of money. The only reason that's negative is because I can't afford it. But if I could afford this car, say if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would definitely want one. The Mclaren 720S Spider is irresistably sexy, and terrifically fast. You know, the word super car does get banded around a lot But I think this car truly exemplifies what we mean by that term, it's just superb. [MUSIC]

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