Model: 600LT Spider
Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8
Transmission: Seven-speed auto, RWD
Max power: 592bhp @ 7,500rpm
Max torque: 620Nm @ 5,500rpm
Top speed: 324kph
On sale: Now
Contrary to popular opinion, teleportation devices do exist — McLaren builds them in the shape of its Sports Series cars — and when presented with the opportunity to bag Woking’s devastatingly quick 2020 600LT Spider in spite of the 50 degree heat we jumped at the chance not just to drop the top and listen to that rambunctious 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 but to violate Newton’s laws on physics beyond recognition with a mere prod of the throttle. Yes, speeding tickets were issued...
Blink and it feels like you have arrived at your destination and with the new removable top, this beauty — the brand’s fifth Long Tail model — hasn’t turned into a less extreme variant like the naysayers suggested; its acceleration of 0-100kph in 2.9 seconds is on par with the 600LT Coupé. Chopping the top often deprives a hardtop of its structural support but no additional body strengthening or reinforcements were required here thanks to its carbon-tub construction. Now, its 592bhp motor sitting inches behind your head is more audible with the roof down and that audacious soundtrack screaming out from the top of its voice via those top-exit exhausts (which look like mini rocket launchers) amplify the aural excitement. In Normal driving mode it makes plenty of snap and pop but in Sport they can spit flames. Don’t worry, they’re meant to do that (the wing back there has been coated with a thermal barrier to stop it from melting!). The V8’s mighty roar rises to a crescendo and fills the sporty Alcantara and carbon fibre trimmed cabin but with the electrically powered three-piece roof — which adds 50kg to the overall weight — in place, it does a decent job in keeping the interior quiet meaning you don’t have to shout at your lucky passenger to be heard. Though the cabin is upscale, it lacks pretty much any modern tech you’d expect to find in a car that costs one-tenth of the price, not that this is a deal breaker; you’re buying this for the sheer thrills it provides which at times are breathtaking. And though there is layer of padding over the carbon-fibre racing bucket seats (taken from the P1), it’s a tad thin meaning longer commutes could be a little uncomfortable but they lock you in place with a vice-like grip which when hitting the track is vital.
It sticks to the road no matter how hard you throw it into the corners; those Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres offer a tremendous amount of cornering grip while the aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork — which includes a front splitter, side sills, extended diffuser and fixed rear wing — adds 100kg of downforce when speeds reach 250kph. With a top speed of 324kph it is imperative that the anchors have the ability to bring that ample forward momentum to a sudden halt and the ceramic discs don’t disappoint, biting hard whenever called upon and killing the speed almost instantly.
This is lighter, faster and more track-focused than non-LT McLarens, offering a wind in your hair experience and that sonorous exhaust note which is louder than ever. Get ready for the G-forces to crush your face — not that your ears will be complaining.