McLaren has unveiled the latest addition to its Super Series range, the 720S Spider, which is the convertible version of the 720S Coupe that debuted in March last year. According to the Woking-based manufacturer, the open-top experience offered by its latest creation comes at little compromise to on-road performance.

For instance, the 720S Spider’s zero to 100 km/h time and top speed are identical to the coupe at 2.9 seconds and 341 km/h, respectively. The latter is only possible with the roof raised, and will only touch 325 km/h when the roof is lowered. A minor niggle is the sprint from a rest to 200 km/h which now takes 7.9 seconds – 0.1 seconds more than the coupe.

This level of performance is possible thanks to a mid-mounted M840T 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 with 720 PS and 770 Nm of torque. The engine, along with its seven-speed dual-clutch SSG gearbox that sends drive to the rear wheels, is identical to the one in the coupe.

720S Spider (left), 720S Coupe (right)

Unlike the coupe, the Spider has a dry weight of 1,332 kg, making it 49 kg more than its sibling and more importantly, 88 kg lighter than the dry weight of its closest competitor, the Ferrari 488 Spider. The modest weight increase is largely thanks to the Monocage II-S carbon-fibre structure used, which already features fixed carbon fibre structural supports for occupant rollover protection.

Additionally, the inherent strength and rigidity of the structure means there is no need for additional strengthening despite the removal of the fixed roof. As a result, most of the weight gained comes from the power-folding hardtop, which McLaren says is the fastest operating unit in its class, capable of lowering or raising in 11 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

The carmaker is offering a one-piece carbon-fibre roof panel as standard, but there’s also an optional version with electrochromic glass. Going for the more expensive option allows owners to choose to have more or less light flood the cabin at a touch of a button.

Design-wise, the Spider differs the from coupe with its (obvious) retractable hardtop, powered rear window and new buttresses. The car’s underfloor aerodynamics have also been revised to ensure it is compatible with the new rear bodywork and full-width active rear spoiler, which gets its own deployment mapping.

With prices in the UK starting from 237,000 pounds, deliveries of the new 720S Spider is scheduled to commence in March 2019. The vehicle is the second model under the McLaren Automotive Track25 business plan, and is offered in three variants – standard, Performance and Luxury.