McLaren 720S Spider is the perfect blend of supercar and grand tourer
Welcome to Arizona, where the Mclaren 720s joins the tarantula, the southern black widow, and the brown recluse.
In the local I spy book of spiders.
This is a car that lets you get the wind in your hair.
The sun on your face.
Hear the sound of a, hang on.
Hang on a minute.
I haven't even put the roof down yet.
It's worth actually saying that this is a Spider that feels completely uncompromised and Impressive, wow, maneuverability when it's got its roof up.
This amazing new single-piece roof, with this glass that, at the touch of a button, goes from dark to light, alters its tinting.
And in here, you really couldn't tell whether this was a Spyder with a roof up or A coup.
You've still got wonderful visibility all around, and this new roof has actually got two patents.
One of them is to do with the synchronicity of how all of the motors work together.
And the other is to do with how the buttresses join to the [UNKNOWN] ripple back it's amazing.
They're glazed buttrices so you've still got a really good view out of the back.
Which was obviously something that was integral to what made the 720 S coups It sound special.
Anyway as it will now lower to a slightly highest speed at 30 miles an hour, I will put it down
One thing you certainly don't lose by taking the roof off is speed.
Not surprising perhaps when it's still got the 710 brake horsepower turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, allied to a dry weight of just 1,332 kilos.
The official McLaren figures, incidentally.
set of optional Corsa tires, cheeky.
And 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds which is identical to the coupe.
Even up to 124 mph, or 200 clicks, it's 7.9 which is just s tenth behind.
What's more, flat out this will do 212 miles an hour, which again, identical to the coupe eight.
With the roof down, it will do 202 miles an hour, so you're hardly missing out.
Plus being close to being sucked straight out of the roof at that speed.
[NOISE] McLaren has actually trimmed the aerodynamic package so that it's different depending whether you have got the roof up or down.
[UNKNOWN] big rear wing does.
And of course with the roof down [UNKNOWN] it is not the most musical engine as we've always said we do get more of the pops and bangs and cracks [NOISE] So you feel much more connected today.
Some of the 720S's supremely impressive habitability and usability haven't been compromised in the Spider.
And, thanks to narrow a pillars and the beautiful glazed butrices, visibility out of it has been maintained too.
But what about the dynamics?
When the 720S coupe was launched, there were a few questions about the Spider version.
Cuz the coupes come in a carbon fiber chassis, the Monocage II isn't just a tub like its predecessors.
It has a spine that arches all the way over the top.
And in order to create the Spider, McLaren has obviously had to dispense with that stiffening spar.
So now we have monogauge2s.
The trouble is I've not explained on our film on the 57ts but the cutting edge structurally important roof is a bit like taking out the top tube of a conventional bicycle.
McLaurin has of course contracted this by adding more strength into the eight pillars.
C pillars and the rear deck of the carbon chassis.
But the question remains, has it worked?
This is quite a bumpy road, and just occasionally it does feel like there's a bit more shake, perhaps.
Certainly through the steering wheel.
It doesn't feel quite as supremely unimpeachably smooth as the last 720S I drove on an equally bumpy road in Whales.
It was something of a shock to find that the 720S Spider didn't have an identical feeling of rigidity to the coupe.
This is a trait we've come to expect from McLaren.
The 700LT Spider though, drove on the same launch, for example, was indistinguishable from the coupe version.
But there was definite shake and shudder through the wheel of the 720S Spider on a bumpy road.
The suspension felt harsher and less absorbent than the coupe [INAUDIBLE] sport mode, making it a little more difficult to place the nose with complete accuracy.
Don't get me wrong.
It's still lots of fun.
And it's not as compromising as some convertible super cars I've driven.
But the difference is nonetheless noticeable.
[SOUND] But it's the active power with sport.
Change the chassis to sport as well, it definitely gets firmer.
The engine gets more insistent, you get more of those cracks, pops.
As the engineers always do at McLaren they've tried very hard to Keep weight to a minimum, so this is only 49 kilos heavier than the coupe.
So down a really great bit of canyon road like this,
It still feels fantastic in the way it changes direction.
What an amazing piece of road this This is.
So what I've been thinking about is that there seems to be a sort of a new breed of super car that this isn't sort of a vanguard of really because, well there used to be something that we call the super GT, which is a GT car that was more of a super car perhaps.
This to me is like a super Turo.
No not that sort of one.
No not that sort of one.
Very cool though they are.
No the sort of, the super car that you can tour in.
Because there are all these tours in [UNKNOWN] Europe and the UK and or even further afield.
With all the supercars and go and explore or on your own.
Just using [UNKNOWN].
In a way that you wouldn't perhaps if in an F-40, say.
And something like the 720-S Spyder is just so brilliant at long distances.
And then when you get to the road, of course, you've got a supercar there.
But if you're gonna go touring, then.
Well, why not have the added benefit of being able to put the roof down so that you can see your surroundings even better?
Smell them, look at the particular sights, so here in Arizona, the cactus.
There's another one And another one.
And another one.
And another one and another one and another one.
In all seriousness, this place is absolutely stunning.
The Sonoran desert is the only place on Earth where the famous saguaro cactus grows in the wild, and they can live for over 200 years, usually only sprouting their first arm at the age of 75.
Arizona as whole is the sixth largest state by area, and is 10% bigger than the UK, although with only a tenth of the population.
Interestingly, this was also the last of the contiguous states to achieve statehood on the 14th of February, 1912, and it is home to the largest Native American territory, the Najavo Nation.
Even within a short distance of its capital city, Phoenix.
Arizona has this wonderfully huge, empty, untamed frontier feeling.
It's sort of everything you want from The wild west America, really.
And is the 720S everything you want from a Spider, apart from the lack of eight legs and a venomous bite obviously?
Well, it looks wonderful, particularly in this Belize blue, the new silently speedy roof is splendidly sophisticated, and the electric chromic glazing is a lovely albeit expensive optional feature.
The 720s is still stunningly fast too, but once again I find myself thinking that the Clarence super series car has actually been trumped by its lesser.
Cheaper sports series brethren, the sublime 570S Spider is simply less compromised dynamically on the lack of a fixed roof.
So if I wanted to wear a Stetson in a super car and ride off into the sunset, the 570 rather than the 720 would still be my steed of choice.
Yee, and indeed, haw.