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First drive: McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.

First drive: McLaren 675LT Spider
McLaren lops the top off the limited-run 675LT to create the 675LT Spider.

   



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McLaren 675LT Spider

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

McLaren cleverly doubles its LT allocation by adding a Spider to the line-up, creating its fastest open-topped model to date. It's every bit as capable as the coupe, and similarly obsessive in its detailing.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: McLaren 675LT Spider
Price: 285,450
Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 petrol
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, two-seat roadster
CO2 emissions: 275g/km (Band M, 505 per year)
Combined economy: 24.2mpg
Top speed: 203mph
0-62mph: 3.0 seconds
Power: 675hp at 7,100rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 5,500- to 6,500rpm

What's this?

A smart way of doubling the initial 500-run of 675LT models, McLaren saying the 675LT Spider is a response to customer demand. The coupe was unashamedly linked to the F1 GTR Longtail - hence 'LT' - and McLaren went through every element of the 650S Super Series model and improved it further. As a basis it had a good start, as the 650S is far from tardy; indeed, we don't recall getting out of it and thinking what it needed was more power, less weight and even more obsessive attention to details and honing. McLaren begged to differ, and as the coupe sold out quickly, it would be churlish not to apply the same developments to the 650S Spider to create the 675LT Spider.

It follows the coupe's recipe to the letter, so it's 100kg lighter (than the 650S Spider - only 40kg heavier than the 675LT Coupe). That's thanks to thinner glass, less sound deadening, lots of carbon fibre inside and out to drop weight and increase aero, aluminium in the suspension, hubs and more, titanium in the exhaust and even the wheel nuts. Its specification reads like a periodic table of mass reduction and the pursuit of velocity, the engine getting so many revisions (around 50 per cent of it is different) it even gained its own unique code. All that for 675hp and numbers that shame the iconic McLaren F1, right up to the 675LT Spider's 203mph top speed, that is.

How does it drive?

There's no questioning the 675LT Spider's relentless pace, as previous experience of not just the 675LT Coupe, but also the 650S, underlines its near hypercar levels of performance. That's not the focus on this launch though; the beautiful roads around the Scottish west coast are not really suitable for v-max runs and achieving the massive lateral g-loads the LT Coupe demonstrated to us previously on track at Silverstone. What the roads here do is reveal the 675LT Spider's inherent stiffness, the carbon fibre MonoCell that makes up the McLaren's structure in no way compromised by the removing of the roof. That's except for the styling, which, to us, looks a bit less elegant due to the roof's ability to open and close. Otherwise you'd be hard pushed to notice any difference between the pair; the 40kg extra it carries is all but insignificant when there's 675hp on offer, even if it does result in a 3.0-second 0-62mph time rather than the coupe's 2.9 seconds.

It's fast then, ridiculously so when extended; the way the 3.8-litre turbo produces its monstrous shove really is something to be experienced. It's tuneful, too, thanks to the loss of some sound insulation as well as the freer-breathing cross-flow titanium exhaust. You can better enjoy that sound too, either by dropping the rear window, or the entire roof, and the latter folds away neatly. Its position means you can't have the titanium roll-cage option of the coupe, but as you'll have already dropped 28,000 more for the drop-top one omitted option on the extensive list won't be missed. MSO will make it as personal to you as you like, however (we'd bin the still not great satnav if we could), and most of the 500 built will cost a sizeable premium over the list price. Given that McLaren's test driver, Chris Goodwin, admits the 675LT coupe's performance in real terms isn't far off the McLaren P1's, it looks like a bit of a bargain, and the Spider allows all that pace with the wind in your hair.

Forget the speed in Scotland; while the locals are refreshingly happy to be overtaken, doing so at the sort of pace the 675LT Spider can so easily achieve would be obnoxious. And highly - jail time levels of - illegal. What really strikes you at normal speeds is just how civilised the 675LT Spider is, the PCC chassis, with its trick linked dampers and no anti-roll bars gives the 675LT Spider, a car that's designed to allow owners fast track work, remember, the sort of ride that's luxury car supple in its make up. That's backed up by the sort of feel through the steering wheel that's largely absent from its rivals' systems, McLaren sticking to hydraulic assistance rather than the electric norm to allow it this.

Turn the wheel and the response is immediate, thanks in no small part to the revised, P1-derived suspension geometry, the unique steering rack and, at higher speeds, the aerodynamics and chassis systems like brake steer increasing turn-in. The weighting is beautifully balanced, the steering wheel loaded with information as to grip and surface texture, though without being busy or distracting. Electrically assisted power steering systems are getting better, but the purity of the 675LT Spider's set-up underlines that they've a way to come yet. Mighty brakes and the quick shifting SSG paddle-shifted twin-clutch transmission help orchestrate it all, these too proving just as adept at normal speeds as they are when wrung out to their maximum on a track. The 675LT Spider's repertoire is about as expansive as is possible, more so than the coupe's, thanks to the ability to drop the top should you want to.

Verdict

Just 500 examples of the McLaren 675LT Spider will be built, and even if you have the means to buy it they're already sold out. The 675LT coupe impressed enormously, and its drop-top relation brings more of the same agility and incredible performance mixed with a supple ride quality that's at times difficult to comprehend. A spectacularly capable car, McLaren's ascent to the top of the supercar hierarchy is pretty much complete.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

2 2 2 2 2 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 - 12 Apr 2016



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2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.



2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider. Image by McLaren.
 






 

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