McLaren 600LT Spider review

McLaren’s 600LT coupe has been lauded as one of the standout sports cars to toe the line between hardcore road machine and ready-to-compete racer.

It’s painstakingly lightweight, intensely potent and utterly uncompromising. Simply put, £185,500 could hardly be better spent if you need a car that’s equally capable of lapping a track as it is the M25 at rush hour.

But what happens when you do throw a compromise into the mix – and a ruddy great one at that?

That’s the case with this, the new £201,500 McLaren 600LT Spider, which has 100 per cent less fixed roof for nine per cent more cash. Has the Woking supercar-maker just ruined one of its greatest creations?

A top-down triumph or convertible calamity? Rob Hull went to Arizona to drive the new 600LT Spider to find out if McLaren has limited its ability by adding a folding roof or made the winning formula that bit better Demand for convertible performance cars is high. So much so that McLaren says one in two vehicles it builds in 2019 will be drop-tops McLaren's 600LT coupe has been lauded as one of the standout sports cars to toe the line between hardcore road machine and ready-to-compete racer. So it's not a bad canvas to start from How has McLaren reduced weight? They've gone to extreme measures, such as removing the carpets and the glovebox to trim every kg possible The carbon-backed seats are lifted directly from the Senna hypercar and, despite being ultra skinny, offer lots of support Alcantara material graces the big sections of the material. This is partly because it's lighter than leather. As Tesco says, every little helps The twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine produces the same 592bhp of power and 620Nm of torque as the 600LT coupe Even without a roof, the 600LT Spider has a like-for-like 0-to-62mph time of 2.9 seconds and an almost-matching 201mph top speed (with the roof up). Only the 0-to-124mph time has felt the burden of going roofless, though it's a matter of just a couple of tenths slower than the coupe To say it's relatively easy - by £200,000 sports-car standards - to drive at pace is an understatement, even for a fairly talentless pilot like This is Money's Rob Hull There's almost a sensation of the 600LT Spider encouraging you to push harder on track. Oblige, and there's more than enough wriggle room to correct errors On Arizona's silky highways, it's  borderline comfortable. Relocate to the UK's punctured routes and we reckon it could be teeth-clenchingly brutal on your body It's quite noisy, too. And that's not just the engine. There's   tyre roar and wind noise to contend with on the motorway There are few cars that master the art of driving to, on, and back from a circuit better than this - especially on a scorching summer's day when you can roll into the paddock with the roof stowed The McLaren 600LT Spider could be the ultimate convertible car for both road and track use for the most enthusiastic of petrolheads The McLaren 600LT Spider could be the ultimate convertible car for both road and track use for the most enthusiastic of petrolheads

The McLaren 600LT Spider could be the ultimate convertible car for both road and track use for the most enthusiastic of petrolheads

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