Is McLaren’s second attempt at a hardcore track-ready modern long-tail supercar quite as good as the first was – the reputation-building 675LT? That’s this week’s hot topic, and all the signs so far have promised just so.
The 600LT coupé is, of course, Autocar’s reigning Best Driver’s Car. It won out in an incredibly tight judges’ vote at Anglesey Circuit in October last year at the head of a quite incredible field that included the Alpine A110, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Jaguar XE SV Project 8 and Ferrari 488 Pista.
At the time, the coupé escaped our road test treatment, so now’s our chance to lavish the full six-page, performance benchmarking exercise on the new 600LT Spider. Now we can finally and fully explore what makes this latest Longtail brilliant, and also better define exactly what it was about the car that made its victory at Anglesey last year so tight.
Our first drive of the 600LT Spider came earlier this year in North America where, on the road only, the car repeated a feat we’re beginning to take for granted from McLaren: it demonstrated all the apparent advantages of the coupé – huge pace, superb steering, balanced handling and a stunning road-appropriate suspension calibration – but added the appeal of folding hard-top open air motoring.
Now is the chance to try the 600LT Spider in right-hand-drive form, on UK roads – and to unleash it on benchmark handling circuits at MIRA’s proving ground to find out just how close a match the Longtail performance makeover has made the supercar to the likes of the 720S and even the incredible Senna on sheer, exhilarating track pace.