McLaren Automotive is ten years old in 2020. In just a decade it’s gone from disrupting the performance car market with the MP4-12C to completely dominating it with a range of lightning quick supercars.
It closed out the 2010s with this, the 720S Spider, arguably the most complete machine McLaren has made to date. But just how good is it?
What Is It?
In short, it’s the rival Ferrari wishes never existed. The 720S is the culmination of almost a decade’s work, and it shows. It’s uncompromising, both to look at and to drive and a quick glance at it reveals all you need to know.
The Spider is, of course, convertible. For some car brands this would mean sacrificing the DNA of the car, but McLaren has managed to retain all the dynamism and performance of its hard-top sibling, but with the added excitement of being able to hit over 200mph without a roof.
It did this, as you’d expect, through complex engineering. The 720S Spider features McLaren’s famous Monocage, a carbon fibre chassis similar to those used in Formula One, which ensures rigidity is maintained and the same on-rails handling seen with the original 720S is present.
Nothing can really prepare you for a second-to-third-gear acceleration in the 720S Spider. Most of the time, on UK roads at least, the moment will be fleeting, since few roads are long enough to handle the car’s pace. But for a second or two of flat-out, peddle-to-the-metal action, the McLaren will allow you to feel truly special. It’s a unique feeling, toying with G-force in a £300,000 supercar, and one that’s highly addictive.
This isn’t only because of the 720S’ inherent pace, but also the noise it makes. The industrial song of its 710bhp twin-turbo V8 is deep and raucous, and only accentuated with the roof down. Lift off the pedal and enjoy the occasional backfire through the waist-high exhausts. You can even lower the rear window to fully immerse yourself in the engine only located two feet behind your head.
Or, you can leave it in comfort mode and basically forget what you’re driving. It’s quiet, comfortable, has an exceptional field of view and is basically easier to drive than the latest hatch back.
McLaren rarely takes a wrong step when it comes to its road cars nowadays. The 720S Spider is faster than you could ever hope to go on the road. It’s also the best looking and most intelligently designed supercar on sale, and one of the most exciting thanks to its mind-bending performance and lack of a roof.
In short, it could be the ultimate road car on sale today. If this is the result McLaren can reach within a decade, just imagine what it can do in the next ten.
Top Speed: 212mph
Acceleration (0-60mph): 2.9 seconds
Engine: 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8
Price: From £237,000
Photography: Charlie Thomas