McLaren 600LT Spider revealed: Longtail loses the roof | CAR Magazine

McLaren 600LT Spider revealed: Longtail loses the roof

Published: 16 January 2019 Updated: 16 January 2019

► The fifth McLaren Longtail
► The 600LT Spider has arrived

► Just as fast as the coupe to 62mph

After a few teaser shots, McLaren has fully revealed a open-topped version of its new 600LT Coupe – and you can order it now for £201,500. The roofless 600LT Spider is the fifth car to carry the Longtail name, and at 1,297kg the convertible adds just 50kg over the Coupe – so McLaren says it stays true to the LT ethos. It’s got a point; it’s still around 100kg lighter than the 570S convertible…

There appears to be little compromise in performance, too. Despite using the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8, and carrying that extra weight, the Spider is actually just as fast as the coupe from 0-62mph; it matches it at 2.9 seconds. It’s only on the dash to 124mph that the Spider’s 8.4 seconds is slower – and even then, just by 0.2 seconds over the Coupe. Top speed is 201mph.

And one more thing, despite the mechanics of the foldable roof, McLaren has been able to keep those dual-top-exit exhaust – so it should sound amazing.

It’s the second convertible we’ve seen from McLaren recently, and follows the equally stunning 720S Spider.

‘Developed to meet the exacting McLaren LT philosophy of increased power, reduced weight, optimised aerodynamics, track-focused dynamics and limited availability, the new model will further broaden the level of choice for McLaren customers – although with a production run of just 12 months, buyers will need to move quickly,’ said McLaren in a statement.

Everything you need to know about the McLaren 600LT coupe

The McLaren 600LT is a longer, lighter, more powerful version of the 570S that manages to pack in more downforce, too. The new car is capable of 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds, equalling the 675LT – and it’ll hit 124mph from a standstill in just 8.2 seconds. Downforce is rated at 100kg at 155mph, and the car is also 100kg lighter than the 570S.

McLaren 600LT coupe

If you want it lighter, a £24,170 MSO Clubsport pack adds carbonfibre seats, extended gearshift paddles and steering wheel spokes, as well as various other carbon bits around the cabin. A more expensive MSO Clubsport Pro Pack shaves weight further by adding an MSO harness har and six-point harness. The Pro pack will add £28,480 to the car’s list price, pushing it over £200,000. 

Ride height is reduced by 8mm, while the front track is increased by 10mm.

What’s in a name?

The two most important bits of the new McLaren are revealed in its name, so you can understand why Woking held back on telling us exactly what it’d be called. The 600 relates to 600PS or 592bhp, while the LT refers the ‘longtail’ configuration of the car.

McLaren has always reserved the longtail name for its most potent cars, with only 4 taking the LT moniker in the last two decades. And ever since the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’, and then the following 675LT, the formula has been the same: Longer, lighter, and faster.

Thanks to new elongated carbonfibre bodywork, the 600LT is 74mm longer than any other Sports Series car McLaren makes – and it all helps to produce more downforce than the standard 570S.

The car will make 100kg of downforce at 155mph, thanks to an extended front-splitter, lengthened rear-diffuser, side skirts and fixed rear-wing.

23% of the parts on the 600LT are different to the car on which its based, and that equates to some serious weight savings. Despite the extra length, the 600LT is 96kg lighter than the standard, 570S too, and tips the scales at just 1247kg dry (with all the carbonfibre options ticked.)

The engine?

The McLaren 600LT gets the rest of its name from a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8, capable of putting out 600PS or 592bhp and 457lb ft of torque. 0-60mph times aren’t released yet, but we’re told the 600LT has a power to weight ratio of just 474bhp per tonne. That translates to a 2.8 second 0-60mph time, while the standard 570S gets there in 3.1.

And one more thing about the engine. As shown on teaser pictures, the new powerplant doesn’t wait to exit out the back of the 600LT, and instead vents exhaust gases pipes out of the the top of the car.

The dual top-exit exhausts mirror the sky-facing triple pipes on the McLaren Senna – and that of older F1 cars – although CAR understands they don’t blow onto the rear-wing like modern Formula One cars.

This shorter exhaust system comes with a trio of benefits: A more efficient exhaust exit helps the engine, and also saves weight compared to a longer, more conventional system. And most importantly, it also puts the noise of the McLaren’s 3.8-litre power plant much closer behind the driver’s shoulder.

Anything else performance wise?

The new engine is surrounded by firmer engine mounts, and controlled sharpened brake and throttle controls. The 600LT also shares the forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension from the second-gen Super Series, too, reducing weight by 4kg.  Finally, to keep up with the increased capability, the McLaren 600LT will run on Pirelli Trofeo R tyres.

And the interior?

In addition to a sparse, track-focused interior, the 600LT also features carbonfibre racing seats first seen on the McLaren P1 hypercar. However, super-lightweight seats are also available, and McLaren says its bepsoke Special Operations unit (MSO) can add everything from a carbon-fibre roof to vented carbonfibre front fenders. With every lightweight option ticked, McLaren says the car could weigh just 1247kg.

How silly is the UK price?

The 600LT will cost £185,500 which isn’t cheap – but at just £36,500 more than the standard 570S, you’re getting a lot of power, downforce and carbonfibre for your money. 

We don’t how many will be made – but we know there won’t and be many. Production will start in October this year continue for no more than than 12 months, with each 600LT being hand-built at McLaren’s centre in Woking.

When you factor in the Senna, Senna GTR and BP23, it’s clear the 600LT will be a super-low numbers car – and it’s probably going to sell out if it hasn’t already.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes