What is it?
There’s nothing complicated to understand about the move from a coupé to the Spider version of the McLaren 570S.
McLaren has switched the fixed roof for a retractable roof that can be raised and lowered at speeds of up to 25mph. It’s that simple. Time was when roadster versions of coupés or saloons suffered awful penalties such as huge weight gain or the dreaded scuttle shake, but thanks to the McLaren’s Monocell carbonfibre tub, none of that applies in this case.
The tub essentially takes the same structural approach as that of an F1 car. It doesn’t need a roof to stiffen the structure like a steel or aluminium car and the neat, foldaway lid is there simply to keep the rain off and the wind out. The weight penalty for the extra gubbins is only 46kg, or as much as a 10-year old trading places in the passenger seat with their dad.
The top speed of 204mph and a 0-62mph time of 3.2sec remain unchanged from the 570S coupé, although the maximum speed is reduced to a mere 195mph with the roof down. All carbonfibre tubs since the MP4-12C have been manufactured by Carbotech Europe Ltd in Austria, but from 2019 all tubs will be manufactured at McLaren’s new facility in Rotherham.
The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, designed in collaboration with Ricardo and manufactured in Shoreham, produces 562bhp, or 570PS, to give this McLaren its name. The V8 drives through a seven-speed, “seamless shift” dual-clutch automatic gearbox and power-to-weight ratio is 375bhp per tonne, enabling the Spider to reach 124mph in a whisker under 10 seconds.
Apart from the roof, the rest is pretty much identical to the 570S coupé. The suspension is relatively traditional, with steel coil springs, anti-roll bars and adaptive dampers, although the 570S features sophisticated electronics such as Brake Steer, which acts on the inside rear wheel to overcome any understeer.
Carbon-ceramic brakes with six-pot front and four-pot rear calipers provide the necessary retardation. There are Normal, Sport and Track driving modes and the steering is electro-hydraulic.
The familiar 10.0in TFT main instrument cluster and 7.0in IRIS touchscreen infotainment system are also carried over. The only real changes are that the flying buttresses of the coupé roof are filled in and the rear spoiler gains 12mm in height.