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The McLaren 600LT Spider is a convertible track special
Is the hardcore cabrio an oxymoron? McLaren's 201mph 600LT doesn't think so
The convertible track special. Long the oxymoron of the performance car world, not that the residual values of a Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta would suggest so. The latest is the McLaren 600LT Spider, the fifth car to earn the Longtail name, and surely the furthest cry yet from the first, a Le Mans racecar that won the GT1 class in 1997.
McLaren’s keen to point out it’s ‘proper’, though. Thanks to the wonders of its carbon MonoCell chassis, the 600LT hasn’t needed any more strengthening to compensate for the lack of a fixed roof, the end result being a modest 50kg premium over the coupe, all of which comes from the three-part folding hard-top and its various mechanisms.
That helps achieve a dry weight of 1,297kg, around 80kg down on a 488 Pista Spider and 100kg below the 570S Spider this 600LT is effectively spun from.
McLaren will make you work for that weight saving, however; you’ll only dip below 1.3 tonnes if you lose the air con and audio systems and specify the so-slender-they-barely-exist carbon fibre seats from the Senna hypercar. Which, alongside a few other carbon bits and titanium wheel nuts (!), are an £18,200 option. So your wallet will also be significantly lighter.
Such fastidious commitment to shaving the kilos will help shave tenths too, mind. McLaren quotes 0-62mph in 2.9secs – the same as a 600LT coupe – with 0-124mph up a mere 0.2sec, at 8.4secs. The top speed is dented by a similarly irrelevant margin, the 600LT Spider maxing out at 201mph roof-up, or 196mph roof-down.
Speaking of speed, the roof can be operated at 25mph and below. If removing the whole thing seems a bit much, then there’s also a retractable window that will let in more noise (should you enjoy the rather industrial noise of McLaren’s 3.8-litre V8 turbo) as well as allow a naughty peek at the top-exit exhausts, retained from the Coupe and proof this really is just a McLaren 600LT with a tricksier roof.
It’s pretty close on price, too, its £201,500 starting point representing a £16,000 rise on the Coupe. Which looks like very good value indeed when it costs more money to add skinnier seats and some fancy wheel nuts…