With a marginal weight increase over the Coupe, it loses almost nothing in performance.

McLaren has lopped the top from its 720S, expanding the Super Series line-up with the 720S Spider.

As with the 650S Spider before it, the 720S sports a small retractable hardtop. It's available in black, or a new electrochromic finish that can switch between tinted and transparent at the push of a button. Opening/closing takes just 11 seconds, and can be done at up to 50km/h.

McLaren says the roof mechanism adds just 49kg to the coupe's weight sticker, helping the drop-top maintain its 2.9-second sprint to 100km/h, pushing through for a 7.9-second run to 200km/h, and 341km/h top speed with the roof up. Roof down, the top speed is a hair-ruffling 325km/h.

The unit has been designed to offer excellent visibility, with a lower tonneau than the 650S Spider and glass-covered buttresses, while there's still 58L of luggage space in the rear with the hardtop folded. The nose has space for a further 150L.

Drop the top, and a glass window between the buttresses automatically lowers to cut down on buffeting, but owners are able to manually control it. That means you're able to open it for more noise with the roof raised. Mmm.

Power still comes from a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 making 527kW and 770Nm, put to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It can be toggled through Comfort, Sport and Track modes, as with the wider McLaren range, and the car rides on the same clever hydraulic suspension system.

Lightweight, forged alloy wheels have been developed for the car, wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero tyres as standard. There are 23 exterior colours, two of which are new to the Spider. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is also on hand to make your wildest dreams come true – if you have enough cash, naturally.

Besides the extra sky on offer, the interior of the Spider is identical to the coupe. There's an 8.0-inch vertical touchscreen in the middle of the slimline dashboard, and a clever digital instrument binnacle with a fold-down option for life on the track.

The dual-zone climate control system has been retuned to detect when the roof is down, and can now adjust the airflow to maintain a comfortable temperature in more conditions.

Australia

In the UK, the 720S is available to order right now. We've contacted McLaren Australia for details about local pricing and arrival dates – stay tuned for more.

Click on the images for the full gallery