After a series of teasers, McLaren finally unveiled the new longtail member. The Uk-based brand revealed the first pictures of the third new model in its £1.2bn Track25 business plan – the McLaren 600LT Spider. The fifth car to carry the Longtail name, the new convertible records a significant weight saving over the model on which it is based, with McLaren’s engineers achieving a reduction of 100kg.
Thanks to its lightweight but incredibly strong carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the convertible 600LT retains the structural rigidity of the Coupé with none of the strengthening that is usually required with conventional steel or aluminium structures. The result is a weight penalty of only 50kg over the Coupé, which contributes to a lightest dry weight of just 1,297kg for the Spider. This is at least 80kg less than any direct competitor and the equivalent power-to-weight ratio of 463PS-per-tonne.
Enhancing the Sports Series Longtail experience with open-air motoring is as easy as pushing a button to lower or raise the three-piece, powered retractable hardtop roof at speeds of up to 40km/h (25mph).
Incorporating technology proven in the 650S, 675LT and 570S Spiders, the hardtop roof is more secure and wear-resistant than a fabric alternative would be, as well as offering Coupé-like cabin refinement when in the raised position.
The electronic control systems of the twin-turbocharged, 3.8-litre V8 engine have been revised, the cooling system uprated and the shorter exhausts tuned to liberate more power. The engine produces the same 600PS (592bhp) and 620Nm (457lb ft) in the Spider as it does in the Coupé.
The uprated powertrain enables the driver to exploit the 600LT Spider’s carbon fibre monocoque chassis to the full, aided by a dual-clutch, Seamless Shift seven-speed Gearbox (SSG) that features Ignition Cut in Sport mode to facilitate faster changes whilst delivering a dramatic aural crack from the top-exit exhausts, plus Inertia Push in Track mode to optimise acceleration. The 600LT Spider will reach 100km/h (62mph) from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, with 200km/h (124mph) achieved in just 8.4 seconds – a near-indistinguishable 0.2 seconds slower than the Coupé. The maximum speed is 324km/h (201mph) with the roof raised, or 315km/h (196mph) with it lowered.
Performance is further enhanced by the lightweight carbon fibre bodywork that creates the Longtail silhouette and the same design of fixed rear wing as the Coupé which – despite the aerodynamic challenges posed by a convertible body – generates the same 100kg of downforce at 250km/h (155mph).