New Arrival: McLaren 720S Spider

Back in May I did an article on the McLaren 720S Coupe vs. Spider.  In the summary I wrote:

The 720S Spider losses nothing over the 720S Coupe. In fact, you gain a tiny bit in ride quality and the option of a ton of fresh air on a sunny day. If I had to choose today, which one would I opt for? Without a doubt it would be the 720S Spider. Will we be trading the Coupe in for the Spider? Despite some strong and not exactly subtle hints from Mrs. SSO, it’s unlikely. The man math doesn’t work as the delta between our late 2017 Coupe and a 2019 Spider is just too large to justify the switch.

And yet today we have a brilliant Aurora Blue 720S Spider sitting in the fall sun on our driveway.

So, what happened? Basically, two things: first being reminded that the one thing you can’t buy is time and second, the realization that we suffer from acute spider bias. Coming to grips with the latter of these two things lead to a calculation on the former and the result was an Aurora Blue 720S Spider now sitting in the garage.

I’m not ashamed to admit that the Spider bias has been lurking around for a very long time. There is no trigger word that sets it off and we don’t need a safe space to retreat to when it happens. It’s just a fact that on a nice day, all things being equal, both Mrs. SSO & I will opt to take one of the Spiders out for a drive over a closed roof alternative. In this scenario the McLaren 720S Coupe was almost always getting passed over in favor of the McLaren 675LT Spider or the 650S Spider. When it came to the coupes currently in the garage, all things aren’t exactly equal and the 720S Coupe, as good as it is, rarely was getting the call over the Ferrari F40 or McLaren Senna. More than anything else, it was probably the arrival of the Senna this summer that put the 720S Coupe on our garage exit ramp. If there is one family rule that we are religious about enforcing, it is that cars that aren’t getting used need to go to new homes where they will be. In the end the 720S Coupe fell victim to a combination of Spider bias and Limited Edition preference.

While the McLaren 720S Coupe did suffer from acute bias towards its open-air capable brothers, it was still a brilliant car to drive and one that I have a deep appreciation for its capabilities.  As a result, the simple solution was to trade the 720S Coupe in for a 720S Spider.  Back in May I indicated that this was unlikely due to the delta between the two in terms of value.  While that delta really hasn’t changed, a few strategically dropped hints from Mrs. SSO, who is a big fan since she saw it at the McLaren Ball last year (720S Spider Launch), and the realization that the LT Spider version of the 720 wouldn’t be showing up on our doorstep (if I am fortunate enough to get one of the build slots) until 2022 at the earliest given my strong preference for very late build slots.  When we added all this together, it came down to a calculation on if it was worth keeping the 720S Coupe for another 2 ½ years knowing that it would not get used anywhere nearly as much as it should or do we bite the bullet and shell out for the 720S Spider now knowing that we will be able to enjoy it for several years before a decision on if it gets traded for the 7XXLT Spider needs to be made.  As all the money in the world can’t buy you more time, we decided the wait wasn’t worth any potential saving on total depreciation between the older coupe and newer spider should it get traded for the 7XXLT Spider.  The fact that McLaren Dallas (Great Dealerships) just happened to have a new 720S Spider in a spec we both really liked clinched the deal.

While we have only had it a couple of weeks, the 720S Spider already has a few hundred miles on it. I’m trying to get the break in miles out of the way quickly so we can begin exploring all of its immense capabilities. First impressions are it is even better than what I remember from the weekend I spent with a loaner 720S Spider back in May. The 720S Spider does seem to ride slightly more smoothly than it closed roofed brother but otherwise performance is identical. The transparent electrochromatic roof is brilliant for the rare occasions it is closed as it keeps the passenger cabin light and airy. Personally, this is a must have option. The second piece of brilliance is the use of glass buttresses which preserve the excellent rearward side visibility of the coupe. It’s a huge improvement on the prior McLaren Spiders which do have significant blind spots on the rear three quarters.

As we buy our cars to be used, being true to this philosophy meant that the 720S Coupe had to go and the 720S Spider was the natural replacement. In my experience, the 720S Spider losses nothing over the 720S Coupe. In fact, you gain a tiny bit in ride quality and the option of a ton of fresh air on a sunny day. The next hard decision will be which of the current cars gets traded in for the 7XXLT Spider as one will need to go as we are out of garage space.

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November 2019

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2 Thoughts on New Arrival: McLaren 720S Spider
    Lee Colville
    25 Nov 2019

    Excellent article as always. I was looking forward to reading your reasoning for upgrading to the 720s spider, head or heart decision (Mrs SSO), and I had noticed that you seemed to have a preference for the spider version of the series. I do hope you manage to get a build slot for the up coming 7xxLT for two reasons.. 1. The review of LT. 2. Which of your current McLaren collection (assuming it will be one of the Mc’s) will be sacrificed to bring in the LT and why?


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