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2019 McLaren 720s Spider Review | carsales

2019 McLaren 720s Spider Review | carsales


49 kilograms. It’s about the weight of your average Rottweiler
or a full beer keg. It’s also the weight penalty imposed if
you like your McLaren 720s with a retractable hard top roof. And this is it. The new 720s Spider. The 720s Spider joins the existing coupe as
McLaren’s second generation super series model. It has the same four litre twin turbo V8,
the same active rear wing, and the same lightweight ethos. What’s incredible is that there is hardly
any weight compromise despite the introduction of a retractable hard top roof and a lot of
that is owed to this, McLaren’s MonoCell two carbon tub. It weighs just 75 kilograms. Check that out. Amazing. The roof opens and retracts in just 11 seconds
at up to 50 kilometres an hour. And inside the cabin the McLaren has a few
tricks including air conditioning with open roof and closed roof settings and that oh
so cool configurable instrument cluster. There’s even an option electro chromatic
roof. On the road you’d be hard pressed to pick
the difference between coupe and Spider and that’s something you can’t really say
of this car’s direct rivals including the Ferrari 488 Spider. There’s no obvious scuttle shake. The body feels really rigid through corners. And the bump absorption is just phenomenal. This car is a real feat of engineering. Now we’ll get to the 720s’s performance
characteristics in a second but first it’s hard not to marvel at how effective this car
is as a touring machine. Ingress and egress is really good. The outward vision is better than any other
supercar and there’s no wind turbulence coming through the cabin. It’s quite easy to hold a conversation even
when you’re doing 110 kilometres an hour. The engine is equally well suited to the cut
and thrust of Sunday driving. Working seamlessly with the seven speed automatic
to develop generous talk and accessible power. Not surprising given what’s on offer. But let’s be honest what we really came
here for is the 720s Spider’s performance credentials. How does it fare in that capacity? In a word, it’s superlative. If you just hold on and grimace as it gets
its power down to the ground. It is so fast. The steering. The handling. The engine performance. Feels on point. It is just as strong as the 720s coupe and
to be honest without having both cars in the same place I can’t pick a difference. In fact McLaren’s engineers say that there’s
about a seconds difference in a lap time on most circuits. So we’re talking minor incremental steps. The straight line stopwatch says just as much
with an identical two point nine seconds nought to 100 time and a top speed of 341 K’s an
hour. What I think McLaren’s done quite effectively
is rain in this new digital era and yet still develop a car that has such a really cool,
honest mechanical edge. Take the hydraulic steering. It’s perfectly weighted. It’s full of feedback and because of that
it relays everything that’s going on in the road through your hands so effectively. In fact more effectively than anything else
I can think of in this segment. This is real hydraulic steering in a brand
new supercar. That’s something to marvel at. The agility of the 720s is just mesmerising. Even at speed it’s not a car that intimidates
you because it’s so easy to place on the road. The problem with a car like this though is
that even when being to pushing, you’re going to be doing speeds worthy of jail time
and ah, it’s just too easy. It shouldn’t be this easy. If we had one criticism of the engine it would
probably be the relatively muted soundtrack. McLaren calls the 720s Spider it’s most
complete car to date and without drinking the Kool Aid we tend to agree. This is a convertible with minimal compromise. Best of both worlds if the world you live
in provides access to half a million dollar machinery.

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