McLaren Unveils Drop-top Version of the Sensational 600LT
Back in late 2018, I had the pleasure of writing a comprehensive guide for the 2019 McLaren 600LT following its reveal. The car which I still believe is the best McLaren has ever made – and quite likely the best supercar ever made – is now available in convertible configuration. In following with traditional, the car is aptly named the Mclaren 600LT Spider.
The new 600LT is based on the McLaren 570S, and is the latest rendition of the “Longtail” Sports Series cars, hence the moniker. Essentially, the 600LT is designed to possess nearly 3 inches longer of aerodynamic bodywork and is given a slight power bump, weight reduction, and other performance upgrades. While these changes may appear to be rudimentary, the intricacies of each improvement sum up to make the 600LT a car in its own right.
As is the case with most things McLaren does, they’ve gone on and defied traditional notions of automotive engineering when it came to adding the power-retractable roof mechanism to the Spider. While unavoidably weighing in at more than the Coupe version – by about 50 kg – the sacrifices to performance are negligible and certainly unnoticeable to anything that can’t realistically discern over milliseconds.
The carbon fibre tub chassis used for the 600LT dubbed Monocell II, does not depend on an upper support structure to add rigidity. This essentially means that the convertible is no less sturdy than the fixed-roof version, with the only meaningful differences being weight and aerodynamics (particularly with the roof down).
The Spider shares the same 3.8L twin-turbocharged engine as the Coupe, which produces 592-horsepower @ 7,500 rpm and 457 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Overall this results in a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds – identical to the coupe – and a top speed of 201 mph, which is only 3 mph off the pace.
The 600LT Coupe and Spider also share the same shortcomings, which are few and easily overlooked when considering what the car was truly designed to do. For example, both trims employ a laggy and cumbersome infotainment system that precludes a sense of refinement and convenience that such devices are supposed to provide.
The 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider is simply just a convertible version of the coupe. Nothing more, and nothing less – and that’s exactly what makes it so amazing. Take what is arguably the best driver’s car ever made, and add a retractable roof in an unassuming fashion. No big deal, but still a really big deal.