Sunday 22nd October 2017
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First drive: McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.

First drive: McLaren 570S Spider
McLaren adds a Spider to the 570S range.

 



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McLaren 570S Spider

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

New 570S Spider gives the option of open air to McLaren Sport Series buyers, with few compromises.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: McLaren 570S Spider
Price: 164,750
Engine: twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 petrol
Body style: two-door, two-seat roadster
CO2 emissions: 249g/km
Combined economy: 26.6mpg
Top speed: 204mph
0-62mph: 3.2 seconds
Power: 570hp at 7,500rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 5,000- to 6,500rpm

What's this?

The third McLaren Sports Series model, which, given the 570S was introduced under two years ago, is pretty sensational. As McLaren has been busy developing new models, like, oh, you know, the 720S among others, it could be forgiven for having taken a bit longer to get the 570S Spider to market. That's 'Spider' not 'Spyder', the firm saying it has gone for the correct - read, British - spelling for its open-topped model.

McLaren has taken lessons learned from the 12C, 650S and 675LT Spiders and applied them here. That trickle-down effect sees the entire folding roof mechanism adding just 46kg to the kerb weight. Impressive given it's a hardtop in particular. All that means there's minimal change in the performance; indeed, the 0-62mph time stays the same at 3.2 seconds and the top speed the same 204mph, though it'll take 0.1 seconds longer to reach 124mph - 9.6 seconds if you're counting.

You won't be, nor will you care that the top speed's a touch down with the roof similarly so, McLaren quoting 196mph. Visually, the Spider differs very little from its coupe relation; the only quick tell-tale is the presence of the seams dividing the two-part roof, and even that cue is lessened if you opt for the top to be finished in Dark Palladium. Inside, you'll not notice it either, save for the additional buttons for the retracting roof, lowering rear window and the additional wind noise it generates at speed.

How does it drive?

McLaren claims there's no loss of rigidity due to the loss of that roof. We've heard similar before from rivals and been disappointed. Not so here. Really, the 570S Spider feels every bit as stiff as its coupe relation. There's no telling that this is an open car, save for the wind rushing by (roof up or down). So, the rear view mirror does not vibrate with its own giveaway frequency and there are no occasional shimmies through the structure from bumps and lumps in the road's surface.

For that you can thank McLaren's MonoCell II carbon fibre structure, which is both light and incredibly stiff. The suspension plays a part, too, McLaren's ability to combine tight control of the wheels and body equalled by its ability to do so without a compromised ride. That all adds to the 570S Spider's ability to carry its so easily gained speed. The steering helps with that too; it is rich in detail and fine in its weighting and accuracy.

There's a hydraulic system here, McLaren not afraid to cut its own path and eschew the trend to move to electrically assisted set-ups. We've arguably gotten to the point where the best electrical systems can offer decent feel, but McLaren doesn't reckon they're good enough to adopt yet. That might be true, and the way the steering weights up and responds to input underlines that, though it's the detail and accuracy that's defining and impressive, at any speed.

The engine's performance, as with the coupe and its 570GT relation, is sensational. It's not a particularly soulful or charismatic unit, even equipped with an optional sports exhaust and with the roof or back window down, but it doesn't half go about producing pace well. The response is excellent, with only the slightest hint of lag, and for a turbocharged unit it revs with huge enthusiasm. It's a little reined in when the more subdued driving modes are chosen, where the ESP is keen to intervene, not allowing you full power exiting corners, flattening the performance.

Switching to ESP Dynamic and upping the powertrain's tempo with Sport or Track modes is transformational. Instead of feeling like it's saving you from yourself, it just flows, the chassis and engine better working in unison. With it there's a bit of wheel slip, and the powertrain doesn't feel like it's being strangled when exiting corners or on rougher roads, allowing you to cover ground with incredible pace. There is some movement on offer, too, with the reassurance that there's electronic assistance should you need it. Roof up or down, it's sensational: this is very much a Spider that loses little, if anything, to its fixed-head relation.

Verdict

A drop-top without compromises? It certainly seems so. If you can live with the 0.1 seconds longer it takes to reach 124mph, the increased wind noise with the roof up or down and the extra cost then it's difficult to make a case against the new McLaren 570S Spider. That it's as sharp to drive as its coupe relation is genuinely astounding, and sets it apart from the majority of its open-topped rivals.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 25 Jul 2017









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2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.

2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.2018 McLaren 570S Spider. Image by McLaren.








 

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