McLaren Automotive’s special gift to attendees at the company’s Winter Ball was the reveal of the 720S Spider. Coming about 18 months after the launch of the 720S Coupe, McLaren has made a few specific changes compared to the hardtop, like frameless doors and new rear spoiler programming, along with wide improvements over the last Super Series roadster, the 650S Spider.
The carbon Monocage II tub in the fixed-roof 720S becomes the Monocage II-S in the Spider. Even though the tub discards the overhead spine, new carbon supports at the tub’s rear return the lost rigidity. The 650S used steel supports fitted into its Monocage; switching to carbon means saving 15 pounds in the rollover protection structure compared to the predecessor car. The Monocage II-S needs no extra strengthening elsewhere, keeping the slim A-pillars and header rail of the 720S.
A new hardtop mechanism operates the standard all-carbon-fiber roof. Electrically instead of hydraulically actuated, the mechanism is another source of weight loss and performance gain. The motors raise and lower the roof in 11 seconds, at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. The operation happens six seconds faster than on the 650S Spider, at a top speed 13 mph higher.
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