McLaren unveils 2019 720S Spider

The Spider is just as quick as the coupe.

Bypassing the traditional auto show circuit, McLaren has introduced the convertible variant of the 720S online. The aptly-named 720S Spider is the latest member of the British firm's Super Series line-up.

McLaren claims it went to great lengths to make sure the Spider isn't a compromised version of the coupe introduced at the 2017 Geneva auto show. It's built around the carbon fiber Monocage II-S architecture, which is an evolution of the bones found underneath the standard 720S. The widespread use of composite materials helped engineers keep weight in check. The Spider weighs 2,937 pounds, a figure that represents a 108-pound increase over the coupe. Most of the added mass comes from the roof mechanism.

McLaren chose to install a retractable hard top that opens or closes at the push of a button in 11 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. Buyer who want to let natural light into the cabin even when the top is closed can order it with tinted glass panel. The firm also noted the deployment mapping of the rear spoiler is roadster-specific, and the climate control system has been re-calibrated. Clearly, creating the Spider wasn't as simple as putting the roof panel on hinges and hooking it up to an electric motor.

McLaren hasn't made any technical modifications to the topless 720S. Power comes from a 4.0-liter V8 engine twin-turbocharged to make 710 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm. It's bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission. 60 mph comes in 2.8 seconds, which is on par with the coupe. The 720S Spider takes 7.9 and 22.4 seconds to reach 124 and 186 mph, respectively. Alternatively, it can go from 124 mph to a full stop in 4.6 seconds.

The 2019 McLaren 720S Spider is on-sale now with a base price of $315,000. Deliveries will begin in March of 2019.

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