Weight and Chassis Flex. These are the first two things I think about when I see a topless version of supercar. Sure, they all scream “look at me“ like a hairdresser with a bitcoin portfolio, but it terms of sheer driving dynamics, you’re usually left disappointed. The Mclaren 570S Spider, however, is a different beast entirely. With Mclaren’s much lauded carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the Spider manages to weigh only 46kg heavier than the coupe with basically no loss of rigidity. A bold claim, indeed, so I thought I’d have a closer inspection.
Let’s start with the roof, the two-piece composite lid is a thing of beauty and speed. 15 seconds is all that separates you from blue skies and the lovely palladium buttresses make sure the convertible’s lines integrate seamlessly. Inside the cockpit you still get a purposeful steering wheel with less distractions than most, a hi-fi system from compatriots Bowers and Wilkins and a surprising amount of leg room. Seat controls are still a little awkward to adjust, but let’s face it, you won’t be adjusting those carbon fibre buckets too often.
All of these details are great to soak in while cruising, but when the wick is tuned up, your appreciation raises entirely. The Spider feels just as razor sharp as it’s fixed roof-counter part. Steering is as direct as you’ll find in a modern day rack and that carbon tub feels as stiff and grounded as a whiskey at your local. Double wishbones with adaptive dampers fill their respective normal, sport and track rolls with poise and purpose and the carbon ceramic brakes provide ample feel and bite. The driving dynamics of the 570s in either package are mouth-watering, but having the ability to remove the roof with no real loss of performance is the cherry on top.
Sitting over your shoulder is that now familiar 3.8 litre twin turbo McLaren V8, only this time, you get to hear it sing. With the top down, those 570 horses ‘ neigh ‘ with conviction and even when you’re sick of sunshine, there’s always the electric rear window to keep your ears happy. 0 – 100 will still vanish in 3.2 seconds, but it almost seems an irrelevant statistic given the corner to corner performance this car possesses.
A Supercar Spider with hardtop performance and a dry weight of only 1359kg, is an exceptional feat of engineering. Driving the 570S around Sydney, people were drawn to the Spider like moths to a Sicilian Yellow flame. But unlike a lot of spiders, this one has the venom to match it’s fangs.