McLaren 720S Spider: Light fantastic
McLaren has given its epic 720S supercar the open-air treatment, lopping off the ferociously accelerating Coupe's roof to create a Spider version. There are highlights and talking points aplenty; here are just six.
1. As well as being lightweight, the carbon fibre core around which all McLaren sports cars are built is so stiff and strong that no additional bracing or strengthening has been needed to keep the 720S rigid after losing its roof.
2. Liberal use of carbon fibre in the 720S Spider means it weighs just 1,332kg - lighter than a VW Golf or Ford Focus, in words. For a car with more than 700bhp...
3. Carbon fibre is used in the folding roof, which is of the retractable hardtop variety. It can be glazed with an electrochromatic glass panel that can switch between tinted and transparent at the touch of a button. The roof can be lowered or raised in just 11 seconds, at speeds of up to 31mph.
4. The mid-mounted 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in all McLaren road cars is here tuned to make 710bhp -that's 720PS in Eurozone figures, thus the 720S name - and a brobdingnagian 568lb.ft of torque. That contributes to a power-to-weight ratio of 533bhp per tonne.
5. The Spider's 0-62mph time is the same 2.9 seconds as the 720S Coupe. Keep your foot down, and 124mph comes up in 7.9 seconds. Top speed with the roof in place is 212mph. Lower it, and you can apparently still hit 202mph - though one imagines it is quite draughty and noisy by that stage...
6. The first customers will get their cars in March, just in time for Brexit. Prices start at £237,000.