The new McLaren 720S Spider has been revealed, with the latest member of the Super Series family boasting special glazed flying buttresses.

Despite the presence of a new, electrically actuated retractable hardtop, McLaren says there was “no need for additional strengthening” thanks largely to the rigidity of the carbon-fibre structure. Overall, the Woking-based firm claims the new 720S Spider is just 49 kg heavier than the coupé, with the increase in weight “primarily associated” with the hardtop and tonneau system.

According to McLaren, the unusual glazed flying buttresses you see in the accompanying images “aid rear visibility” and “enhance visual drama”. The leading edge of each buttress features an aerodynamic carrier to guide airflow, before tapering off to expose darkened glazing.

Power comes from the same mid-mounted 4,0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in the coupé, sending an unchanged 527 kW and 770 N.m to the rear axle via a seven-speed transmission. The obligatory zero to 100 km/h sprint takes a claimed 2,9 seconds (matching the coupé), while 200 km/h is registered in 7,9 seconds (one-tenth slower than the coupé).

McLaren says the standing quartermile is seen off in 10,4 seconds, while top speed comes in at a coupé-matching 341 km/h with the roof raised. Drop the top and that figure falls to a still lofty 325 km/h.

The retractable hardtop features a one-piece, carbon-fibre roof panel as standard and can be lowered or raised in 11 seconds (up to speeds of 50 km/h). A rear window that lowers automatically when the hardtop is opened is also independently controllable.

Meanwhile, a carbon-fibre-framed, glazed retractable hardtop will be offered as an option, complete with electrochromic glass that allows the driver to switch between a transparent or tinted state “at the touch of a button”.

Pricing in the United Kingdom will start at £237 000 (that’s about R4,3-million at the current exchange rate).
McLaren 720S Spider