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Meet the 600LT Spider: the fire-breathing new hypercar from McLaren

By Paul Connolly

McLaren has unveiled its latest drop-top superstar: the 600LT Spider.

The 592bhp monster is the latest in the company’s Sports Series range, and the third model under the £1.2bn McLaren Automotive Track25 business plan .

It’s also the fifth car to carry the Longtail (LT) name. The Longtail is the most extreme expression of a McLaren car. They are engineered to be “pushed to the edge” in terms of performance and exhilaration.

In McLaren speak a LT is “the purest distillation of the sheer driving pleasure embodied by all our cars.”

The 600LT is a lighter and faster version of the 570S Spider and is designed to be track-focused and convertible.

It is priced from £201,500, which means it costs £16,000 more than its coupe younger sister.

The car weights  just 50kg heavier than the 600LT Coupé and has a powered roof can operate at speeds of up to 25mph.

McLaren Automotive boss Mike Flewitt said: “The McLaren 600LT Spider adds a new dimension of excitement to the most extreme model in the Sports Series family, while losing none of the Longtail focus.

“Taking full advantage of the strength of the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis has ensured that the new Spider has dynamic abilities and performance on par with the 600LT Coupé, for a weight premium of just 50kg and with no additional structural strengthening required.

“In addition to our weight advantage over competitors, we have also retained the top-exit exhausts that debuted on the Coupé – and I’m pleased to report that they sound and look even better with the roof or rear window of the Spider lowered!”

Thanks to a lightweight but incredibly strong carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the convertible 600LT retains the structural rigidity of the coupe with none of the strengthening that is usually required with conventional steel or aluminium structures.

The dry weight of the car 1,297kg. McLaren claims this is at least 80kg less than any direct competitor and the equivalent power-to-weight ratio of 463PS-per-tonne underpins “astonishing” levels of performance and dynamic prowess.

Acceleration is similar to the coupe - 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 201mph.

An electrically-operated, glazed wind deflector can be activated independently of the hardtop, to reduce buffeting or increase ventilation – or simply to allow more of the exhaust sound into the cabin.

Under the bonnet is the same electronic control systems although the twin-turbocharged, 3.8-litre V8 engine has been revised, the cooling system uprated and the shorter exhausts tuned to liberate more power.

Transmission comes in the form of a dual-clutch, seamless shift seven-speed Gearbox (SSG) that features Ignition Cut in Sport mode to facilitate faster changes plus Inertia Push in Track mode to optimise acceleration.

There’s also an optional MSO Clubsport Pack that eliminates 100kg of weight.

Only a limited number of the cars will be made, all hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey.

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