McLaren 675LT Spider - the devil goes topless

Published: 03 December 2015

► Sold out 675LT Coupe now joined by 675LT Spider
► 100kg weight saving, plus 666bhp and 516lb ft
► 203mph top speed, £285k, limited edition of 500

Cor, who’d have thought it? McLaren has followed up the 675LT Coupe – which sold out before even reaching production – with a 675LT Spider. Same limited run of 500, same 666bhp, but the added bonus of a flip-top lid and an exclusive set of wheels.

Wait – McLaren has built a 675LT Spider, and you’ve focused on the wheels?

Well, the new forged 20-spokers are Woking’s lightest set of rims ever. McLaren hasn’t been specific, but this means lighter than the Coupe’s, which were already lighter than the P1’s. How’s that for a statement of progress? The pictured Solis gold paint is new for the Spider, too. 

Anyway, returning to the plot, this is a pretty fabulous piece of kit. As with the hardtop, the Spider is 100kg skinnier on the scales than the 650S it’s based on, despite in fact being bigger and bolder to look at. The engorged track width is constrained within bespoke carbonfibre bodywork, you get the same 50% increase in Airbrake surface area (thus justifying the resurrected ‘Longtail’ designation, which originates two decades ago with the latter stages of the McLaren F1 road car’s race programme), and downforce is enhanced by 40%.

That’s more like it. And how fast is the McLaren 675LT Spider?

The addition of the opening roof means the Spider is 40kg heavier than the Coupe at 1270kg dry, but that still means a power-to-weight ratio of 525bhp per tonne. As such the 666bhp and 516lb ft 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 has no trouble returning the same 2.9sec 0-62mph time in both versions – which means it moves even faster than one of the firm's own embargoes (the 675LT Spider leaked online earlier today).

By the time you’ve doubled to reach 124mph, the Coupe has pulled out a couple of tenths over the Spider’s 8.1sec due to its superior aerodynamics. But really, who cares when you’ve got all that extra fresh air as compensation? The Spider’s top speed is 203mph.

Any changes to the 675LT’s chassis for the Spider?

Remarkably, the central carbonfibre MonoCell tub is so strong it requires no additional reinforcement – so that weight increase is entirely due to the roof mechanism, a small price to pay for the ability to air out the inertia induced vomit. You won’t even be that berk holding people up at the traffic lights during the change, as the roof operates while the car's travelling at up to 19mph. 

Chassis-wise, the 675LT Spider has the same suspension and geometry as the 675LT Coupe, meaning new lightweight springs with rates increased 27% at the front and 63% at the rear, plus 20mm wider track. Lightweight seats based on those in the P1 contribute a 15kg saving, which you can mercilessly squander by no-cost-optioning 16kg’s worth of air conditioning back in.

How much is the McLaren 675LT Spider?

Want one? Then move fast, as we weren’t kidding about the Coupe selling out almost instantly. Prices start at £285,450, and first deliveries are scheduled for summer 2016.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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