Bradley Ellis is an expert race automobile driver and 2007 British GT collection champion. The 31-year-old Brit is using shotgun as I pilot the 2020 McLaren 600LT Spider round Arizona Motorsports Park, simply west of Phoenix. He is by no means met me however appears completely unfazed as I get to know the two.2-mile street course in a 592-horsepower McLaren supercar. In truth, the very first thing he tells me is to select up the tempo.
The 600LT Spider is McLaren’s fifth Lengthy Tail mannequin, and one which Ellis is aware of fairly properly. The Spider will get the identical enhance in energy, discount in weight and upgraded aero because the 600LT Coupe, itself a fine-tuned software for wreaking havoc on race tracks. Ellis urges me to hold extra pace as I head into corners, and “commit” to throwing the two-seater round, trusting that this factor will stick irrespective of the place I inform it to go. The McLaren 600LT Spider is a automobile that is straightforward to be taught, and one which’s significantly rewarding lap after lap.
I am no racetrack beginner, but it is nonetheless unsettling to blow previous the course’s final brake marker earlier than stomping on the 600LT’s diamond-hard cease pedal. The ceramic discs chew arduous and kill pace with immediacy. Flicking the Alcantara-wrapped wheel in both route tucks the entrance finish in, the Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires providing super cornering grip. The suspension’s adaptive dampers hold issues practically flat in Observe mode, however does not kill me as I clip a curbed apex.
The 600LT is phenomenal, and simple to drive quick. However that does not imply there is not some drama baked into the expertise. Dialing the McLaren’s stability management to its Dynamic setting loosens the leash, letting the rear finish step out in a managed slide worthy of foolish grins and elegance factors.
The entire package deal is remarkably impartial, enabling drivers to stroll the advantageous line between grip and slip whereas bombing across the observe. Communicative, weighty steering helps you to really feel when the entrance tires are reaching their limits, and there is tons of suggestions delivered by means of the carbon-fiber chassis tub, proper as much as the seat of your pants.
A lacking roof does little to hamper the 600LT Spider’s observe reflexes.
Eradicating a automobile’s roof usually requires some further bracing to maintain physique flex in verify, however not so with the 600LT. Positive, the three-piece retractable hardtop does include a 110-pound weight penalty, however you would be hard-pressed to really feel this additional heft on the observe. To that time, McLaren says the 600LT Spider can speed up to 60 miles per hour simply as shortly as its Coupe counterpart: a staggering 2.Eight seconds. Working the quarter mile takes simply 10.5 seconds, and the automobile’s prime pace is 201 mph (with the highest up, anyway — go full v-max with the roof open and also you’re restricted to simply 196).
The 600LT’s three.Eight-liter twin-turbocharged V8 produces 457 pound-feet of torque to enrich the aforementioned 592 horsepower. Throttle response is snappy, and energy arrives in a linear style. My solely grievance is the whiny soundtrack at decrease revs earlier than the engine actually begins to sing as you wind it up. And both least or most significantly, relying on how a lot you want enjoyable, sure, the 600LT Spider will shoot flames out of its top-exit exhausts, similar to the Coupe.
Bolting as much as the engine is seven-speed dual-clutch transmission equipped by Italian agency Graziano. Every pull of the big, carbon-fiber paddle shifters is accompanied by a slight jerk and loud crack from the exhaust on upshifts, whereas downshifts are ripped off in a speedy method. With out query, it is an excellent gearbox — simply not fairly pretty much as good as ones present in Ferraris.
Sure, the 600LT Spider can shoot flames from its top-exit exhaust.
With the drivetrain toggled to Regular, energy continues to be plentiful, however the Spider will simply cruise at 80 mph with out breaking a sweat — not like some supercars, it by no means feels prefer it’s consistently attempting to get away from you. In its full-auto setting, the dual-clutch transmission performs pretty fluidly, swapping cogs seamlessly in site visitors.
Not that it actually issues, however the 600LT Spider will return an EPA-estimated 15 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 22 mpg on the freeway. Not a horrible displaying, all issues thought-about.
Tolerable on street
Prime up or down, the 600LT Spider is a head-turner, with a silhouette that intently mimics that of the Coupe. The Myan Orange paint on my check automobile contrasts properly with the beneficiant quantities of exterior carbon fiber on the broad entrance splitter, facet sills, mounted rear wing and diffuser. The addition of this weight-saving aerodynamic materials contributes to 220 kilos of downforce at 155 mph, which is tremendous helpful on the observe.
A looker with the highest up or down.
The digital roof takes simply 15 seconds to open, and might be operated at speeds as much as 25 mph. My particular tester displays just a few creaks, however hopefully these will not carry by means of to final-spec vehicles. However even with the highest up, wind noise continues to be prevalent, with a lot of tire chatter from the sticky Pirellis in any respect 4 corners.
Over the course of a 2.5-hour street drive, the 600LT Spider’s inside is simply advantageous. The seating place within the carbon-fiber buckets is ideal for sporty driving, and I like the Alcantara that traces the dashboard and door panels. My tester’s mounted seating place, agency journey high quality and loud inside atmosphere will doubtless get previous for those who consistently end up road-tripping in a 600LT, however for brief stints, you will not thoughts. Simply keep in mind to pack mild: the frunk solely has 5.three cubic ft of cargo house.
Alcantara is all over the place within the 600LT Spider.
If you need the most recent and best tech in your supercar, the 600LT Spider in all probability is not for you. The 7-inch Iris infotainment system comes with a USB enter, and that is about it. Navigation is a no-cost choice, nevertheless it’s housed in a system that is clunky and complicated to make use of. Need to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Too dangerous.
Then again, for those who’re the sort who subscribes to the less-is-more mantra, the 600LT is for you. Patrons can delete air con and radio, and add extra carbon fiber than you’ll be able to shake a stick at. With the lighter suspension parts, brake , windshield and wiring harnesses, and you may have a 600LT Spider that is a full 219 kilos lighter than the 570S Spider on which it is primarily based.
McLaren will not expose the precise variety of 600LT Spiders that will likely be constructed, as a substitute saying the Lengthy Tail fashions mixed will not account for any greater than 20 % of the whole 570- and 600-series lifetime manufacturing. In different phrases, seeing one in every of these will not precisely be a frequent prevalence.
McLaren 600LT Spiders will likely be a uncommon sight within the wild.
The 600LT Spider is out there to order now, and the primary deliveries are anticipated to happen in April. The convertible begins at $256,500, excluding $2,500 for vacation spot, which represents a $16,500 premium over the 600LT Coupe. That is no small chunk of change, however for the well-heeled buyer who desires to let a bit extra mild shine in, it is a small value to pay for a convertible that is simply as succesful and wonderful as its fixed-roof kin.