In terms of performance, the McLaren 600LT Spider is on par with the 600LT Coupé.
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires increase on-track dynamics and driver engagement.
The 600LT Spider is the fifth car to carry the Longtail (LT) namesake.
McLaren thought it was a good idea if they’d cut the top off their impressive Longtail and turn it into a Spider. Who am I to argue? I love convertibles. Besides, this is no boulevard showboat. With nearly 600 ponies on tap and a 200 plus mph top speed, think of the McLaren 600LT Spider as a very impressive hair dryer.
Even though it’s a drop-top, the 600LT Spider fully exemplifies the McLaren Longtail philosophy. More power, less weight, optimized aerodynamics, and track-oriented capabilities.
Fit & Trim
The McLaren 600LT Spider drops 220.5 lbs. over the 570S Spider it replaces. That’s a lot of weight savings, like losing a fat passenger. The 600LT Spider uses the same carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis as the Coupé. However, even though the top of the box is chopped off, it retains the structural rigidity of the Coupé with no additional strengthening bits, according to McLaren. So in all, Coupé to Spider, the convert only gains 110.2 lbs. Not bad!
All up, the dry weight is just 2,859.4 lbs. for the Spider, which is pretty good. You can even delete the audio and climate control systems if you really want to drop the weight.
Power & Performance
The McLaren 600LT Spider features the same twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 as the Coupé, kicking out 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft. of torque. A dual-clutch, seven-speed gearbox with “Ignition Cut” facilitates faster changes in Sport mode. The McLaren 600LT Spider hits 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and 124 in just 8.4 seconds! It maxes out at 201 mph with the roof up; 196 mph with it down. Nice!
That zero to 124 mph figure is a mere 0.2 seconds slower than the 600LT Coupé. Not bad!
Open Air Enjoyment
The hardtop roof is more secure and wear-resistant than the traditional fabric version, and offers a Coupé-like cabin when it’s up. When stowed, the roof hides beneath a tonneau cover located just behind the seats. The top is raised or lowered at the push of a button up to 25 mph. And, I’ve got to say, being able to drop your top while on the move is so cool. I love when car companies let you do this.
An electrically-operated wind deflector can be raised independently of the hardtop to increase ventilation or to allow more of those sweet exhaust notes into the cabin. The 600LT Spider has unique top-exit exhausts that should sound fantastic and loud when your hair is blowing around.
As with the Coupé, availability of the 600LT Spider will be limited although orders are being taken now. McLaren is not like others: they don’t churn out cars like so many appliances. Of course, with that limited availability comes a (fairly) high price: $256,500. Yes, that’s a lot, in overall terms, but in the high-end sports car realm, that’s about average. And this is a McLaren here. You won’t be disappointed.
Every 600LT car is hand-built at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.