McLaren has been growing their portfolio for a few years now; and apparently you can’t be a full-line dealer in exotics, if you don’t offer a convertible, or spider in supercar parlance. So, now they’ve added the open air experience to their sports series with the 570S Spider.
Don’t for a minute think that the 2018 McLaren 570S Spider is just a spur-of-the moment chopped roof version of what was already available. Rather, it is a carefully calculated, integral part of the plan that’s been in place since development for the 570 began. Following the original Sports Series Coupe and GT.
And, this Spider’s open-air experience is truly fantastic; as we all know, wind in your hair heightens the sense of speed, and gets more of your senses involved in the supercar experience.
Things about the minimalist cabin are very familiar, including the central touchscreen that’s full of info. Granted it’s rather small by latest standards, but works quite well.
Mirroring the GT more than the Coupe, means there’s additional storage space, including where the roof panel stores. Now, if you’re familiar with the 650S or 675LT Spiders, the top’s operation is quite similar. Just hit the button, and watch the tonneau raise as the top neatly folds underneath of it. No flimsy cloth setup with this Spider; there’s a real-deal folding hard top. In addition, there’s a power rear glass panel that can be left up to combat wind buffeting.
Hardware is mostly all the same as well, with everything being built around McLaren’s carbon-fiber MonoCell II chassis, but the folding top and accompanying mechanisms do add about 100-lbs. However, no additional structural reinforcements were needed.
The 562-horsepwer and 443 lb-ft. of torque available in the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, is more than capable of compensating for that; aided by a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 is the same as the Coupe at 3.1-seconds.
The suspension keeps ride quality borderline plush, and speed sneaks up on you in a real hurry. Only slight adjustments have been made to the adaptive dampers; not necessarily because it was needed, but because they could.
Like the rest of the McLaren breed, it’s certainly not a car for blending in. It has the presence only true exotics can pull off; from all of the air intakes and vents, to all of the swoops and sways of the sleek body panels. Not to mention when you flip up one of the dihedral doors.
Apart from the folding roof, the overall look is not so different from the Coupe; and only true aficionados will notice that the rear spoiler has been extended by ½ an inch to compensate for the new roof shape.
Much like the GT, the Spider is a McLaren that you don’t need a racetrack to appreciate; it feels much smaller than it is, with a direct steering feel that only a fully hydraulic system can provide.
But more like the Coupe, the standard carbon ceramic brakes feel more track-worthy than street subtle. You really have to put your foot into them, and there’s not much gray area; they’re either full on or full off. And there are various amounts of turbo lag, depending on which drive mode you’re in and how aggressively your throttle inputs are. All of these elements, you might call character rather than flaws.
We don’t often say options are must-haves, but the available sport exhaust system clearly fits that category. It not only opens things up out the back, but pipes additional noise forward into the cabin.
The shifter paddles are plasticy in feel; but they work well, and give you full manual control no matter how poor your decision making is. Government Fuel Economy Ratings aren’t final, but we don’t expect them to differ from the Coupe’s 16-City, 23-Highway, and 19-Combined.
Now, hopefully you haven’t made too many poor decisions when it comes to your finances, as you’ll need $211,300 in reserve to purchase this Spider. That’s about a 20-grand premium, or just a 10% mark-up for 50% more coolness.
Be it a spider or a convertible, they aren’t for everyone, and of course neither are McLarens. But the appeal of this 2018 McLaren 570S Spider is out of this world. The only way you’ll be out-cooled at your next trip to cars and coffee, is if a P1 rolls up next to you. This Spider is McLaren’s best offering yet, and we bet that it’ll quickly become their best-selling model too.
Engine: 3.8 liter
Torque: 443 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
EPA: 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway