Nearly a decade ago today, when you mentioned the term ‘Holy Trinity’ around car aficionados, we all knew what you were talking about, a threesome of the most amazing cars to date back in 2013, the Ferrari LaFerrari, the Porsche 918 Spyder … and the McLaren P1, all three of them were groundbreaking hypercars at the time, offering hybrid power packed inside some of the most intimidating looking design seen on the open road, and yes, these were all street-legal models, and all of them were expensive when new, but each one has gone up in price considerably ever since.
Even people that own a considerable car collection worth multiple millions, still crave adding one of these three hypercars, when new the Ferrari LaFerrari would set you back around €1,000,000 with a production run of just 499 units, the Porsche 918 Spyder was also a limited edition model, with 918 units with a starting price around €711,000. Unveiled at the 2021 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile, the McLaren P1 would be made just 375 times, making it the rarest of the Holy Trinity in the end, and initially, the P1 was also the most expensive one, at €1,475,000, or about twice the price of the Porsche 918 Spyder counterpart.
But there are always clients out there looking for something special, more exclusive, and difficult to obtain, and there is one way to achieve this … have a car custom-built just for you, and this is where Lanzante comes in … McLaren never made a convertible version of their P1, but Lanzante will build you a bespoke McLaren P1 Spider, and sometimes you can end up with some of the most atrocious looking convertibles when you cut away the roof on a coupe, but Lanzante took a different approach … they contacted Paul Howse, who was responsible for the design of the original P1 coupe, and who now worked closely with the Lanzante team to keep the design of the new commission as close to the iconic original as possible.
“The original concept was one of organic fluidity, layering, and of a beautiful skin wrapped over the technical carbon components. A visual story of the airflow,” explains Paul. “With the P1 Spider, we wanted to continue and accentuate this theme. The design has some subtle tweaks, and the body now flows from the bonnet edge around the A-pillar into the waistline, kicking up behind the driver, echoing the bodyside. This creates a floating fin to direct air into the engine, and then flows back down into the rear deck. The carbon buttresses cocoon the driver and echo the beautiful clean lines of the coupe’s tapered cabin. The rear deck design had to perform the same function as the coupe, so we have retained the layered gills to direct cool air over the exhaust and then evacuated at the back. In a change to the coupe, the engine now more exposed and visible through the carbon panel.”
Commenting on the genesis of the P1 Spider program, Dean Lanzante explained: “We were approached by a P1 owner at the start of the year who was looking at the ideas of how to make his car even more engaging, and he was keen to explore the option of a Spider variant. We had looked at the idea before, but the basic architecture of the chassis with the integrated roof structure made it seem like it was not possible. After close discussions with our engineers, we felt we had some possible ways to make it work, but it needed to be designed in a way that it wouldn’t lose anything when compared to the coupe. Getting Paul onboard to conceptualize an idea was the catalyst for the project. Knowing the car as intricately and in detail as he does, he knew the limitation we were working with, but when we saw what he came up with – which is more or less what is here on display today – we knew we had to do it.”
The Lanzante McLaren P1 keeps the famous 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 hybrid powertrain developing 903bhp, so performance and acceleration figures are about the same as on the donor car, thanks to a redesign of the lower chassis, the Spider is just as rigid as the Coupe, despite lacking a fixed roof, the RaceActive Chassis Control also remains, offering dynamic handling and transmission modes, as well as the all-out track-focused ‘Race’ mode. With only 375 McLaren P1 ever made, it is only reasonable that Lanzante will limit the number of cars they will cut the roof from, no more than five P1 Spider will be made, period and each of them will need a suitable donor car, each of these five units will be a totally custom, bespoke build, and the client that started this entire journey will be receiving the first-ever McLaren P1 Spider before the end of the year.