Slice the roof off most coupes and also the results ar tragic – rigidity is compromised, weight goes up, headroom is reduced, and driving comfort decreases. thanks to this laundry list of concessions, most driving enthusiasts like a closed-roof machine over a drop-top. however that’s not the finding with the 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider, a superior convertible that seems to interrupt all the long-established rules.
McLaren’s 600LT machine was introduced last year hot on the heels of the company’s celebrated 570S machine. The “LT” stands for Longtail, that a people maker defines as, “The most extreme expression of a McLaren you’ll be able to get… the purest distillation of the sheer driving pleasure embodied by all our cars.” in an exceedingly shell, the 600LT is associate enthusiast-tuned variant of the 570S, speech act optimized aeromechanics, reduced weight, more power, and performance-tuned suspension. The 600LT Spider, recent on the scene, is sort of the image of its machine sib except it’s fitted with a power-operated retractile roof.
Lightweight carbon-fiber platform associated an innovative motorized roof
All of McLaren’s Sport Series vehicles share a similar MonoCell II carbon-fiber chassis. built while not a roof, the light-weight composite tub – it weighs simply one hundred sixty five pounds – is reportedly twenty five % stiffer than a comparable metallic element structure. it’s therefore rigid that no further bracing was needed for the Spider variant (in reality, it absolutely was ab initio designed to be open). Covering the substructure ar body panels crafted from metallic element alloy, composites, and carbon fiber — stiffness and low weight were the first engineering objectives.
A foldaway cloth roof was dominated out by McLaren’s engineers once planning the Spider — a solid roof provides higher protection from inclement weather, and it proves additional security in terms of deterring stealing or break-ins. Instead, they selected to craft a three-piece retractile carbon-fiber folding machine with totally electrical operation (it could also be opened in precisely fifteen seconds at hastens to twenty five mph). When open, the roof tucks invisibly away to keep up the sleek lines of the 2-door. once closed, it seals tightly to be quieter than any cloth counterpart — and it’s nice.
An thoroughgoing, best-in-segment weight loss program
Convertibles ar heavier than their closed-roof counterparts as a result of the additional machinery, electrical motors, and structural bracing add weight. difficult convention, McLaren’s engineers fitted the 600LT Spider with light-weight electrical harnesses, dilutant glass, solid metallic element suspension parts, ultra-lightweight solid wheels, metal wheel bolts, and carbon-fiber fenders. Even the exhaust was re-routed, currently exiting on high of the mid-mounted engine to scale back the length of the exhaust plumbing (don’t worry, the engineers place drain holes in it, therefore it won’t flood once it rains).
McLaren’s efforts ar commendable – the 600LT Spider tips the scales with a dry weight of simply two,859 pounds, that is simply a hundred and ten pounds heavier than the 600LT machine. For a small amount additional perspective, compare the McLaren’s weight thereto of the three,131-pound Ferrari 488 Spider, or the 3,322-pound Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder — its 2 nighest rivals. The McLaren is upwards of 463 pounds lighter than its direct competitors! in an exceedingly world of heavyweight fighters, the McLaren 600LT Spider could be a svelte featherweight.
Twin-turbocharged V8 for large power
After dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with regards to the chassis and mass, McLaren finalized the package with associate ultra-responsive, twin-turbocharged three.8-liter V8 powerplant. The 592 HP (457 lb-ft of torque) engine, that options dry-sump lubrication and a flat-plane rotating shaft, is mid-mounted and really low within the chassis. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gear case sends power to simply the rear wheels – all-wheel drive isn’t offered – with associate intensity and aggressiveness supported the driver-selected setting (the powertrain is organized through the Active Dynamics Panel on the dashboard).
It doesn’t take a scientist to appreciate that the 600LT Spider boasts a jaw-dropping power-to-weight quantitative relation. in line with McLaren, the Spider can accelerate from 0-60 mph in two.8 seconds. The sprint to 124 mph takes simply eight.4 seconds. Top down, it’ll run to 196 mph — raise the roof and also the high speed climbs to a blistering 201 mph.
Mesmerizing performance – high up or down
The cockpit is intimate – suppose fighter jet accommodations — as this is often a real sports automotive, not a grand tourer. Top up, the cabin is sealed remarkably well and conversations with the rider ar easy. Top down, there’s a small amount of blow at speed, however rolling up the 3 windows (there’s atiny low power-operated wind blocker within the rear) helps vastly.
Driving McLaren’s 600LT Spider is each a physical and hearable joy, due to a awfully responsive throttle, the prodigious power of the forced-induction V8, and a happy audio recording from the top-mounted exhaust pipes. Mash the alloy foot lever to the ground associated an afterburner-like roar — as if the air is being ripped apart by a reaction-propulsion engine — emanates from simply aft of the passengers’ heads (which ar at the same time plastered into the pinnacle restraints). It’s the characteristic note of a turbocharged engine with heaps of boost, and it sounds wondrous. McLaren raises the bar with Ignition Cut, whereby the spark is simple momentarily to scale back shift times – the action causes a theatrical aural concussion throughout the upshift. Downshifts ar equally exuberant, with boisterous booms and pops throughout slowing. To associate automotive enthusiast, the result is each thrilling and hypnotic.
On-road and track impressions
The 600LT Spider is civilized on the road. The gear case is sleek, the engine docile at low speeds, the steering absolutely weighed, and vision out of the cockpit from the low driver’s seat is affordable for a supercar (there ar certain blind spots on every rear quarter, however massive exterior mirrors improve watching down every side). associate out there power-operated nose raise, that raises the front for additional clearance, could be a must-have choice for people who encounter steep driveways on a daily basis.
As expected, the McLaren’s dampers ar firm – mission-focused – with standardization on the acute facet of the performance standardization. On sleek roads the ride is absolutely acceptable, however on broken pavement or rough mixture the 600LT Spider will be harsh. Dropping the highest and basking within the sun (and taking within the sweet exhaust note), is that the most popular thanks to travel.
Any considerations concerning the firm suspension damping ar straightaway laid-off once the sticky Pirelli Trofeo R tires on the McLaren roll onto a track – this is often the 600LT Spider’s natural surround. At athletics velocities, the drop-top is vastly stable – the maker says its tuned aeromechanics offer over 220 pounds of downforce at one hundred fifty five mph. Turn-in is fast with a massive quantity of grip from the front, and really very little understeer. The buttocks is simple to toss – raise mid-corner and it yieldingly comes around till you mash the throttle to aim and stabilize it. Use a careful bit on the throttle setting out of the tightest corners, as golf shot the ability all the way down to the pavement is that this McLaren’s greatest challenge — wheelspin and oversteer comes quickly. Blame that torquey V8. Carbon-ceramic brakes reign in triple-digit speeds with ease. Right off the panopticon floor the 600LT Spider is one among the world’s greatest track cars.
Final thoughts and evaluation
After a full day with the new McLaren, we tend to half ways that smiling and unconditionally affected. once endlessly repining concerning convertible-centric shortcomings – compromised rigidity, weight, headroom, and luxury – we’ve finally found a supercar that’s apparently unaffected by these deficiencies. The 600LT Spider seems to be as as capable, enjoyable, and fascinating as its closed-roof sib. add the enjoyment of outside driving, and it’s no surprise that the Spider — not the machine — is our enthusiast-preferred selection between the 2.
As a customized maker, McLaren offers a spread of common choices and choice packages to reinforce the performance and look of the 600LT. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) permits even any customization of aeromechanics and weight reduction, with the foremost discerning customers – those selecting a made-to-order artistic method – operating through MSO customized. The 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider is on sale currently with a base value of $256,500 (plus a destination fee of $2,500) — U.S. deliveries begin in April.