What is it?
McLaren likes to call the 570S Spider its most attainable open-top, a statement not wholly unlike the Duke of Westminster telling you that the land in and around Battersea is very affordable.
Well, yes: compared to an acre of Belgravia, it probably is. But attainable in a broader, inclusive sense? Not on your nelly. The Spider starts at £164,750, which means most will be £200,000. It’s as exclusive as shale mining rights.
Nevertheless, with the outgoing 675 LT Spider originally priced from £285,000, you can see where McLaren is coming from. And in marked contrast to most lesser car makers, ‘attainable’ doesn’t mean ‘cynically second-rate’ for Woking. Far from it: the coupé version of the 570S – a car available for 911 Turbo S money – is as-near-as-damn-it the complete supercar and arguably only second to the God-like McLaren 720S in the firm’s ever-expanding canon.
As that car forms almost the entire basis for the Spider, much is expected of McLaren’s latest model – not just in performance but in sales figures, too. Naturally the drop-top shares the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 in its 562bhp format and the seven-speed ‘seamless shift’ gearbox; ditto the Monocell II version of the carbonfibre tub and the all-round double wishbone suspension attached to it.
The chief difference then is a 46kg increase in kerb weight: the drawback of having the coupé’s composite roof panels pack themselves neatly away after 15 seconds of button-pushing. That the penalty is modest compared to most rivals is a familiar virtue of the Monocell: like the 12C Spider before it, no additional buttressing is required as the 570S is not dependant on its roof for torsional rigidity. Consequently the Spider is no less stiff than the coupé.
It’s practically no slower either. McLaren reports a deficiency of 0.1sec from 0-124mph, and unless you have the roof down, the drop-top will ultimately clock the same 204mph top speed. With the wind shot-blasting your hair, Woking quotes 196mph. Our left-hand-drive test car came equipped with the optional sports exhaust, ten-spoke forged wheels and a substantial smattering of carbonfibre body parts, among other things, for a final sticker price just shy of £210,000.