2019 McLaren 600LT Spider: Stupid Fast Mandatory, Roof Optional

Year, Make, Model: 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider

Topline: The motorsportiest version of McLaren’s baby model is now available with a sunlit interior.

What’s New: Previously available only as the fixed-roof McLaren 600LT, the 600LT Spider adopts a folding roof whose tech is so advanced that McLaren holds three separate patents for its design. With the press of a button, everything separating the 600LT Spider’s occupants from a dose of vitamin D scoots itself out of the way, and into a compartment behind the cabin, where luggage can be stowed with the roof up. Along with the roof, the 600LT Spider’s rear window shirks its role as separation from the world outside, which allows the top-mounted exhaust to bellow into the cabin.

Said exhaust is the tail end of a powertrain whose heart is McLaren’s M838T, a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 good for 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque in this application. Despite the heft added by the foldaway roof mechanism, the 600LT Spider’s curb weight still comes in around the 3,000-pound mark, meaning its power to weight ratio is still capable of worrying your mom.

Zero-to-60 is over in 2.8 seconds, and the trip to 124 miles per hour takes only another 5.6. Given a long enough stretch of tarmac, the 600LT Spider can crack 201 (with the roof up, it’ll do 196 with the roof down).

But extra horsepower isn’t all the 600LT is about. Its carbon fiber body generates 221 pounds of aerodynamic downforce at 155 mph, which collaborates with specially tuned shock absorbers to keep the car on the road, rather than in the guardrail. Its interior is also more exotic than that of its 570S Spider younger sibling, boasting P1-style carbon fiber bucket seats as standard, which can be upgraded to optional McLaren Senna-spec seats.

The price? $265,500, before options.

Quotable: “Taking full advantage of the strength of the carbon fiber 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 110.2 pounds and with no additional structural strengthening required,” said McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt. “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!”

What You Need to Know: The 600LT Spider is McLaren’s fifth model to wear the LT (Longtail) designation, which first appeared on the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail. That car went on to a one-two finish in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and McLaren rekindled the name in 2015 with its 675LT and associated Spider variant. Fourth was the fixed-roof 600LT, and fifth, the 600LT Spider, which is itself the third car in McLaren’s Track25 scheme.

Under this plan, McLaren promises to deliver a total of 18 new vehicles, or variants thereof, by the end of 2025. The cost of this plan will be £1.2 billion GBP ($1.54 billion USD), and the results… you can already see for yourself.

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Author: James Gilboy


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