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New McLaren 765LT Spider redefines open-top performance

The drop-top McLaren 765LT Spider takes just 2.8 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph, while it can reach 124mph from rest in 7.2 seconds

It’s less than a year since the McLaren 765LT ‘longtail’ received a full five-star review from Auto Express. Now the Woking supercar manufacturer is lifting the lid on that model with the new 765LT Spider, a fresh convertible that will be built in equally limited numbers to the sold-out coupe.

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The 765LT Spider gets the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 as the hard-top, producing 755bhp and 800Nm of torque. Even with an electrically operated, single-piece carbon-fibre retractable roof, the new arrival weighs only 49kg more than the regular 765LT, at 1,388kg. That means it’s 80kg lighter than the 720S Spider, and helps to make it the fastest-accelerating LT Spider to date; 0-62mph takes just 2.8 seconds, and the car can reach 124mph (200kph) from rest in 7.2 seconds. The top speed is 205mph.

The roof opens in 11 seconds, thanks to a complex mechanism involving eight motors, and can be operated at speeds of up to 32mph. But even with it in place, the 765LT’s electric rear window can still be opened, allowing the car’s occupants better access to the noise from the titanium exhaust. That system weighs around 40 per cent less than a conventional stainless steel unit, at just 10.9kg.

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The Spider version of the 765LT was developed alongside the coupe, McLaren says, and no additional bracing was required to allow the roof to be removed. Carbon-fibre supports are fully bonded into the rear of the adapted MonoCage II structure, called MonoCage II-S in Spider form, to provide rollover protection.

McLaren is claiming impressive on-track performance for the 765LT Spider, which produces as much as 25 per cent more downforce than the regular 720S Spider. It gets optimised gear ratios that help to make in-gear acceleration up to 15 per cent faster than that car, too.

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Inside, there’s an eight-inch central infotainment screen, but no audio system, which has been removed in the pursuit of weight savings. A four-speaker McLaren set-up can be fitted as a no-cost option, however, along with Bluetooth integration and voice recognition. A more extensive Bowers & Wilkins system is also available.

Eight colour themes have been designed, mixing the interior Alcantara fabric colours with unique contrast stitching. Buyers can spec the digital dash and infotainment systems with carbon-fibre surrounds, too.

For those who want to personalise their 765LT Spider further, McLaren Special Operations has already defined a pair of optional packs for the car. The MSO Clubsport Pack reduces overall weight further, thanks to carbon-fibre racing seats and upgraded brakes taken from the McLaren Senna hypercar. The MSO LT Black Pack, meanwhile, brings a gloss-black finish to a number of external components such as the tonneau cover, front splitter, rear bumper, air intakes and mirror casings.

The 765LT Spider comes with a premium of around £30k over the coupe, being priced from £310,500. As with the coupé, just 765 examples will be produced, and McLaren says that this year’s allocation has already been filled by orders from regular customers in advance of the car’s announcement.

Click here to read our review of the McLaren 765LT coupe....

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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