The McLaren 720S Spider is here with a retractable hardtop roof and a massive price tag.
There’s a problem when you cut a hole in a car’s roof. Suddenly all that carefully engineered aerodynamics gets thrown out the window just so you can feel your hair get whipped in the breeze. This typically results in a slower, more flimsy car that looks good in the sun but gets rained on at the track.
For this reason, performance-oriented McLaren has historically shied away from producing convertible versions of their track-minded cars since not having a roof is almost always a severe compromise to speed. They only produce a convertible version of their cars once they’ve found a way to engineer out as much performance loss as possible so that the car they produce is as close to coupe version as possible.
We got the 570S Spider two years after the regular coupe version debuted back in 2015. Now, just shy of two years after the 720S debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, we get the 720S Spider with a retractable hardtop.
Generally speaking, the 720S Spider is exactly the same as the 720S. It still has the same 4.0-L twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It still has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, a straight-out-the-back exhaust, and a raising rear wing made out of carbon fiber.
The only real difference is a panel behind the seats that rise up to allow the folding carbon fiber roof to deploy when it’s rainy and retract when its nice outside. It takes 11 seconds for the roof to deploy, and it can only be done at speeds less than 31 mph.
But every new feature comes with a price. On the 720S Spider, that price is an extra 56 lbs and one-tenth of a second lost getting from zero to sixty. Top speed remains at 212 mph with the roof up, or 202 mph with the roof down.
There’s also the monetary cost, which is $315,000. That’s not bad considering the regular car costs $288,900, but it’s still a lot to pay for a slightly slower car that can give you a nasty sunburn.
Deliveries begin in March 2019. Call your local McLaren dealer for more details.