- 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 McLaren’s Longtail (LT) namesake.
You know when a company’s press release starts with an apology, it’s bad news. To wit: “While all examples of the limited volume McLaren 600LT Coupé have been allocated . . . ” And as your anguished cries join mine, we can all take solace in the fact we couldn’t have afforded it anyway. Probably. But wait, McLaren gives us a shot at redemption! “Customers wanting the opportunity to own one of the brand’s signature LT models still have the opportunity to place an order for the 600LT Spider.”
Verbatim from McLaren. Well sign me up!
Blowing Your Hat Off
The 600LT Spider is the drop-top version of the very impressive 600LT Coupé (the British insist you pronounce it kooPAY but I still say coop). Essentially, the Spider adds the “exhilaration of open-air driving” when compared to the Coupé (or kooPAY). That’s a reserved and nice way of saying this thing can blow your hat off to the tune of 200 mph. Obviously, when you’re a car company known more for building race cars than street cars, it’s no surprise when a publication like Nobleman Magazine names you an Automobile All-Star and Best Track Car.
Works for me.
Related: One impressive hair dryer: Meet the McLaren 600LT Spider.
The 600LT Spider exudes the Longtail’s (that’s what the LT stands for) philosophy of increasing power, reducing weight, optimizing aerodynamics, and keeping the availability limited. All of that rolls up into one very sleek and very desirable car. The 600LT Spider rides on the same carbon fiber Monocell II chassis as the Coupé. The bodywork consists of carbon fiber to further enhance performance and cut weight. The fixed rear wing highlights the Longtail’s silhouette and yes, it looks nice. However, that rear wing is for more than just show (of course), producing 220.5 lbs. of downforce at 155 mph.
So it’s like having a fat guy sitting on your rear decklid, only without the (obvious) aero penalty.
And that chassis is so well-designed and stiff that it requires no additional bracing or strengthening when McLaren took the top off. The roof is a three-piece, retractable deal that raises or lowers at speeds up to 25 mph. Bonus style points for that feature.
The 600LT Spider is powered by the same engine found in the Coupé, a 3.8-liter V8 plant that cranks out 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft. of torque. That’s where the “600” terminology comes from, in case you were wondering. The 600LT Spider’s zero to 60 time is a sneering 2.8 seconds, and she’ll top out a little over 200 mph. Like I shouldn’t have to say, that’s fast!
The corners are controlled by a forged aluminum, double-wishbone suspension system with re-calibrated dampers all around. McLaren says, for good measure, drivers can expect quicker steering and sharper responses from the throttle and brakes. Speaking of cornering and coming to a stop, the 600LT Spider features bespoke Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires; real gumballs that probably have a lifespan on par with a fruit fly.
Pricing & Availability
McLaren is currently taking orders for the 600LT Spider, which again, has limited availability (they keep reminding us!). The brand’s newest convertible has a starting price of $256,500. Okay, maybe don’t sign me up. I ain’t got that much. But still. It’s hard to deny the 600LT Spider. Like every McLaren before it, the 600LT Spider will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) 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.
Photos & Source: McLaren Automotive.