Just like the 600LT coupé, the Spider is a supercar with a rare and exceptional ability to light up any journey on the road. We should, however, only consider that part of the car’s dynamic mission statement: because a 570S Spider has a comparable ability to delight and excite from A to B – and surely it’s for the LT to offer more, both here and on a circuit, just as the 675LT did.

In identifying and quantifying exactly how much more you get, you can certainly count big doses of extra lateral grip and contact patch feel from those Trofeo R tyres. Smaller but perceptible gains on body control, turn-in agility and steady state, mid-corner balance are delivered by McLaren’s suspension overhaul. But there are also really striking parallel and entirely complementary senses of unerring linearity and accuracy about the car’s handling, and well-judged dexterity about the car’s ride, that allow you to drive it so confidently – and as quickly as is permitted – on the road without ever feeling overawed by it. Those are truly rare qualities in a mid-engined supercar of this performance level – and they make the 600LT Spider a quite stellar driver’s car for regular daily use.

No one really does steering feel better than McLaren at the moment, and the 600LT is one of Woking’s most communicative models. A triumph, for sure.

On the track, the car is perhaps not quite as stellar in every sense, though it wants for nothing in terms of grip, poise, pace, stamina or stopping power. As you can read above, it’s little short of astonishing when driven by the book: fast through the apex, late and strong on the brakes, quick through the gearbox, accurate in all and balanced as you feed in the power.

But, while the car’s electronics allow a little exploitable handling adjustability when you’re using ESC Dynamic mode, the Longtail’s handling becomes a little bit scrappy when you disable the aids completely and progress beyond the limit of grip; and so finishing off a set of tyres on a track day, for example, wouldn’t quite be the indulgent, flattering exercise it might be in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS or a Ferrari 488 GTB. To be fair, though, it wouldn’t be a chore either.

The 600LT Spider went nearly a second quicker around the MIRA Dunlop handling track than the Porsche 911 GT2 RS – and it didn’t need so much as an adjustment of tyre pressure to do it. The Lamborghini Huracán Performante went quicker still in 2017, and by a bigger margin than the one to the Porsche. However, on a circuit where aerodynamic downforce doesn’t do quite as much for a car as it might elsewhere, the McLaren’s straight out of the box showing was impressive.


Find an Autocar review

Explore the McLaren range

Back to top

Modifying the tyre pressures slightly, in an attempt to bring out the last word in mid-corner handling poise, only made the car slightly slower, less able to put its power down cleanly and more given to fairly sudden oversteer out of the slower corners.

McLaren’s torque vectoring and traction control systems keep a very effective rein on the car’s attitude – although, often in checking turbo boost almost before it arrives at the driven axle, the interventions they make can feel more like turbo lag than anything else.


Put quite simply, a car as focused and capable as the 600LT Spider has no right to ride as well as it does. At a steady cruise with the chassis and powertrain settings knocked back to Normal, the McLaren’s ability to isolate its occupants from the wide range of blotches and blemishes that characterise Britain’s roadways is uncanny. There’s real pliancy here: a sense of settledness and civility – particularly over longer-wave undulations – that you simply don’t get from the likes of a GT2 RS or 488 Pista. Of course, this gentility isn’t quite as pronounced at lower speeds, but it’s unlikely you’d wince at the prospect of using it for short city hops. That seems a strange thing to write about a supercar but is true nonetheless.

There is a caveat, though: noise. Stiffer engine mounts allow more low-frequency sounds to permeate into the cabin, while the weight-stripping process that saw the interior carpets removed and window glazing reduced further amplify exterior road noise. Anything that clatters its way along the 600LT’s underbelly echoes throughout the cabin, too. As such, cabin noise at a 70mph cruise was taken down at a vocal 79dB – making the 600LT Spider noisier than a Lamborghini Huracán Performante (77dB), if not quite as aurally tiring as a GT2 RS (80dB).

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the McLaren range