The McLaren 720S has been shocking crowds with its dramatic styling and endless wins on drag strips for a couple of years now, so it’s not surprising to see a Spider version arriving just in time for Christmas.
Like the 650S Spider that came before, the 720S features a folding hard-top arrangement that slips beneath a folding tonneau situated on top of the familiar 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Either side of the tonneau are two buttresses, now split into two pieces. One is constructed of carbonfibre and houses the Spider’s rollover protection while the other is glass, maintaining the coupe-like silhouette. This use of glass was apparently designed for two reasons: first to improve over the shoulder visibility, but also keep the new Spider close to the standard Coupe’s glassy cockpit-like aesthetic.
The roof itself comes as standard in carbonfibre, but this can also be specified in electrochromic glass, allowing the driver to switch between a clear and opaque finish at the touch of a button. In order to facilitate the new roof and its powered mechanism, McLaren had to redevelop the Coupe’s Monocell II carbon tub, removing the central spine and redesigning the rear shelf. Despite the removal of the tub’s central spine, no extra bracing was required so the total weight is only up 49kg to 1332kg ‘dry’, without any effect on torsional rigidity.