2020 McLaren 720S Spider first drive: Uncompromising

Driving rain pelts the aggressively raked windscreen of the 2020 McLaren 720S Spider, while motorway speed forces the precipitation around the front glass and then up and over the side windows.

Once in the cabin, it trickles down, down, down into the doors, where no doubt the water will make fast friends with fickle British electricals. I desperately try to wipe the moisture away, dampening the sleeve of my North Face jacket. The black fleece-lined zip-up serves as my only protection from the unexpectedly chilly Arizonan air. This is not ideal weather for testing a convertible supercar. It’s grey. It’s gross. And as I finally burst out from beneath the squall into blazing, brief sunshine, it all feels remarkably British.

My Belize Blue 720S Spider isn’t as perturbed by the rain, wind, and sub-50-degree weather as I am. Its heater is strong and its heated seats stronger. Plus, there’s a folding hardtop roof for when the foul weather finally becomes too much. As I surge through the ever-changing conditions in the mountains north east of Phoenix, Arizona, I start to wonder if much could bother the 720S Spider and a sufficiently determined driver.

This is, of course, by design. During our morning briefing, McLaren’s global head of communications and public relations, Wayne Bruce (affectionately referred to as Man-Bat, for obvious reasons), told about 20 other journalists and me that the carm...