McLaren has whipped the covers off the new 600LT Spider, which becomes the fifth car to carry the “Longtail” name.
The Woking-based firm claims the convertible 600LT retains the structural rigidity of the coupé with none of the strengthening that is usually required (thanks to its carbon-fibre MonoCell II chassis). The result, it says, is a weight penalty of “only 50 kg” over the coupé (contributing to a lightest dry weight of 1 297 kg for the Spider).
The three-piece, powered retractable hardtop can be lowered at speeds of up to 40 km/h. An electrically operated, glazed wind deflector can be activated independently of the hardtop, to reduce buffeting or increase ventilation – or, as McLaren puts it, “simply to allow more of the exhaust sound into the cabin”.
When lowered, the roof stows beneath a tonneau cover located behind the seats. With the roof raised, this tonneau storage area provides an additional 52 litres of luggage space.
As with the coupé, power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3,8-litre V8 engine, producing 441 kW and 620 N.m, and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. McLaren says its new 600LT Spider will reach 100 km/h from a standstill in 2,9 seconds (the same as the coupé), with 200 km/h achieved in 8,4 seconds (just two-tenths seconds slower than the coupé). The maximum speed is 324 km/h with the roof raised and 315 km/h with it lowered.
Like the coupé, the firm says availability of the 600LT Spider will be “limited”, with build slots scheduled around other Sports and Super Series models. Each example will be hand-assembled in Woking.
“The McLaren 600LT Spider adds a new dimension of excitement to the most extreme model in the Sports Series family, while losing none of the Longtail focus,” said Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer at McLaren Automotive.
“Taking full advantage of the strength of the carbon-fibre MonoCell II chassis has ensured that the new Spider has dynamic abilities and performance on par with the 600LT coupé, for a weight premium of just 50 kg and with no additional structural strengthening required.
“In addition to our weight advantage over competitors, we have also retained the top-exit exhausts that debuted on the coupé – and I’m pleased to report that they sound and look even better with the roof or rear window of the Spider lowered.”
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.