Automotive

In pictures: Up close with the magnificent McLaren 720S Spider convertible

In pictures: Up close with the...
The 4-liter twin turbo V8 engine smashes out around 710 horses
The 4-liter twin turbo V8 engine smashes out around 710 horses
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Frontal aerodynamics like the glassed-over headlights are tailored for the car's top speed, in excess of 211 mph
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Frontal aerodynamics like the glassed-over headlights are tailored for the car's top speed, in excess of 211 mph
Opening those dihedral doors has never been more of an event
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Opening those dihedral doors has never been more of an event
The active rear wing and its actuators are a focal point from the rear
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The active rear wing and its actuators are a focal point from the rear
Glazed flying buttresses behind the driver and passenger seats give the 720S Spider driver much more 360-degree vision than you'd expect
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Glazed flying buttresses behind the driver and passenger seats give the 720S Spider driver much more 360-degree vision than you'd expect
The carbon monocoque frame has been redesigned for the convertible, and it looks so empty with the doors open you have to wonder if it'll flex in hard cornering
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The carbon monocoque frame has been redesigned for the convertible, and it looks so empty with the doors open you have to wonder if it'll flex in hard cornering
The 720S Spider is, we'd say, the best looking McLaren in the stable rnow
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Frank Stephenson's 720S Spider is, we'd say, the best looking McLaren in the stable right now
From the front: this thing means business
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From the front: this thing means business
2.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint times will rival some sports motorcycles
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2.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint times will rival some sports motorcycles
Today's McLaren launch event in Richmond, Vic, Australia
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Today's McLaren launch event in Richmond, Vic, Australia
That detailed rear engine cover looks stunning and draws plenty of attention
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That detailed rear engine cover looks stunning and draws plenty of attention
The interior is focused on hard driving
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The interior is focused on hard driving
Sinewy side profile is a new design direction for McLaren, and it's great
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Sinewy side profile is a new design direction for McLaren, and it's great
The 4-liter twin turbo V8 engine smashes out around 710 horses
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The 4-liter twin turbo V8 engine smashes out around 710 horses
0-200 km/h in just under 8 seconds will keep you on your toes
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0-200 km/h in just under 8 seconds will keep you on your toes
Sleek and sexy in red
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Sleek and sexy in red
Side vents behind the doors feed the rear-mounted engine
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Side vents behind the doors feed the rear-mounted engine
Aerodynamic carbon splitters 
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Aerodynamic carbon splitters 
Front wheel, complete with comically large disc brakes
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Front wheel, complete with comically large disc brakes
Rear wheel, also complete with comically large disc brakes
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Rear wheel, also complete with comically large disc brakes
Hidden side venting draws air through from the wheel arch
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Hidden side venting draws air through from the wheel arch
Underslung carbon diffusers offer a peek at the engine
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Underslung carbon diffusers offer a peek at the engine

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.

The 720S Spider is, we'd say, the best looking McLaren in the stable rnow
Frank Stephenson's 720S Spider is, we'd say, the best looking McLaren in the stable right now

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.

The carbon monocoque frame has been redesigned for the convertible, and it looks so empty with the doors open you have to wonder if it'll flex in hard cornering
The carbon monocoque frame has been redesigned for the convertible, and it looks so empty with the doors open you have to wonder if it'll flex in hard cornering

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

Underslung carbon diffusers offer a peek at the engine
Underslung carbon diffusers offer a peek at the engine

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

That detailed rear engine cover looks stunning and draws plenty of attention
That detailed rear engine cover looks stunning and draws plenty of attention

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.

The interior is focused on hard driving
The interior is focused on hard driving

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.

McLaren 720S opening and closing its convertible roof

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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