At today's Melbourne launch of what we'd describe as the most beautiful car in the McLaren stable, we had a chance to get up close and personal with the new 720S Spider convertible. And what a stunner it is.

With a 4-liter, 710-horsepower twin turbo V8, the 720S delivers performance figures that are basically uncompromised from the 720S coupe: 2.9 seconds to 100 km/h (62 mph), 7.9 seconds to 200 km/h (124 mph) and a top speed of 341 km/h (211 mph) if you leave the roof closed.

That's great for the zero percent of the time you'll spend doing top speed runs, but the 720S Spider is an absolute event of a car with its top down, especially when those dihedral doors open up. It looks surreal. The carbon Monocage II-S frame must be preternaturally strong and stiff across the floor if this thing is capable of true violence on the street and track.

Aerodynamics take the starring role from behind the car, with the active wing mechanism and carbon underbody diffusers sandwiching a peek at the engine.

But the detailed engine cover is no slouch in its own right, and dominates the rear top view.

If you're hoping for a hint of luxury in your AU$556,000 supercar, you won't find it here. McLaren has left "hyper-GT" duties to the radically weird Speedtail with its wacky 3-seat cockpit layout. That's the one you'll want for comfort; the 720S Spider is built, like most other McLarens, with a focus on hard, fast driving. The cabin is thus minimal and does little to take your attention off the white lines ahead.

But at the end of the day, the overwhelming visual centerpiece of the 720S Spider is provided by its roof mechanism, which uses no less than eight separate electric motors to open and close at speeds up to 30 mph/50 km/h. It's the fastest opening roof in the supercar class, and it's almost silent to boot.

Check out our original 720S Spider preview for more information, or jump into the gallery for many more photos.

Source: McLaren

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