Summer’s Top 3 Luxury
Warmer weather is on the horizon, and it’s time to turn our attention away from seat heaters and towards convertible tops. Here are three of the finest examples of classy open-air vehicles in dealerships right now. .
—By Benjamin Yong
For drivers who prefer a little extra wind in their face whilst cruising in their ‘verts, the McLaren 720S should do the trick. This British-built vehicle, constructed mostly of lightweight carbon fibre, houses a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 outputting an astounding 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque, perfect for reaching a speed of 0 to 200 km/h — yes, 200 km/h — in just 7.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 341 km/h with the roof in a closed position.
Aggressive is an adjective that doesn’t do the 720S justice. LED headlights are embedded inside smoked “eye sockets” cut deep into the front fenders, complementing a blacked-out splitter below. Double-skinned dihedral doors feed air to radiators, helping cool the mighty mid-mounted mill. A nifty active rear spoiler provides some much-needed downforce at higher speeds.
The power retractable hardtop (RHT) features an available glazed electrochromic glass panel capable of automatically tinting, helping keep the interior cool on hot days. Lowering or raising the RHT is whisper quiet and takes only 11 seconds, and can be performed even when traveling 50 km/h. When stowed away, the back window rises up to act as a wind-blocker so on-road conversations may remain at a civilized volume.
Dawn Black Badge
Nothing epitomizes luxury like a Rolls-Royce. And nothing epitomizes luxurious topless motoring like a Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge. Just take a look at this special edition’s interior. The sleek, monochromatic interior was inspired by stealth aircraft, created using 14-millimetre-diametre threads of aluminum woven together and bonded in carbon fibre, which are then finished with six coats of lacquer and hand polished to a mirror finish.
Mandarin detailing lends a touch of contrast to the plush, night-coloured leather seating for four. For example, a subtle strip of orange circles the cabin at hip height, evocative of the sunset (or perhaps dawn?) as passengers are immersed in darkness.
Driving the rear wheels of the 2360-kilogram behemoth is an equally impressive 6.6-litre bi-turbo V12, generating 593 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The large displacement engine means propulsion is buttery smooth, and the sound? Otherworldly, particularly after pressing the “low” button located next to the steering wheel, causing the dynamic sports exhaust to open up and produce a deep baritone note upon acceleration.
F-TYPE Chequered Flag
There is arguably no upscale convertible more fun than the Jaguar F-TYPE. And in celebrating 70-plus years of sports car production, all started by the 1948 reveal of the then record-breaking XK 120 with a top speed of 120 mph, the British manufacturer has released a limited Chequered Flag variant for 2020. Based off the R-Dynamic grade that boasts highlights such as a black roof and polished 20-inch wheels, there are a number of accoutrements unique to the model as well.
Just a few include flag badging on the grille, rear bumper, headrests and steering wheel; six-spoke “6003” design alloys, and a whole bunch of red accenting found on the illuminated door scuff plating, big brake calipers, seatbelts and, as a nod to classic motorsport, at the top of the steering wheel to mark the 12 o’clock position. The centre console trim is also finished in a cool dark brushed aluminum.
Consumers have a choice between two powertrains: a turbo Ingenium 2.0-litre four cylinder producing 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, or a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 pumping out 380 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired to a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox.
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