MCLAREN 570S SPIDER
Roof down, satisfaction up
Drop top cedes little to the coupe. Was that a spoiler?
IT’S CURIOUS that one of Mclaren’s most ‘affordable’ models is also one of its most tactile, engaging and appealing offerings. Simple minds might think of an entry-level convertible as being the poser’s choice, but in reality it’s closer to being the connoisseur’s darling.
Having good DNA helps. As with all Mclarens, the 570S Spider is built around a carbon tub with the torsional rigidity of Uluru. Top-down scuttle-shake is nonexistent as a result. The powerret ractable hard top adds 46kg of extra mass over a 570S Coupe, but that’s minuscule, and the Spider’s 0-100km/h sprint of 3.2 seconds is identical to the coupe’s – and so is its roof-up top speed of 328km/h. So much for convertibles being the compromised choice.
Furthermore, the Spider has something fixed-roof Mclarens tend to lack – a semblance of sonic satisfaction. A retractable rear screen lets more engine noise into the cabin when the side glass is up and brings plenty of cross-flow when the windows are wound down. The sound? Still not the purest, but it’s definitely more pronounced in the Spider.
It’s a joy on the road. The hydraulic steering is light but communicative and follows the road’s camber with the slightest of nudges. The suspension is admirably pliant in both Normal and Sport modes.
And though the twin-turbo 3.8 litre V8 may be at the lower end of Mclaren’s horsepower spectrum, performance is mega. Both turbos are at full puff at just 2500rpm and acceleration is relentless to the 8000rpm redline. Grab the next gear, and you’re dropped right back into the meaty bit of the torque band to do it all over again. The seven-cog dual-clutch is nicely punchy at full-bore but can be snatchy in stop-go traffic.
However the best part about the 570S Spider is just how effortless it is to switch from boulevard cruising to backroad blasting. It’s docile and comfortable when the Handling and Powertrain toggles are rotated to ‘N’ (for Normal), but transforming it into a sharper instrument is as simple as twisting both knobs a click or two to the right to place it in Sport or Track. With those big switches located high on the centre console, right where your left hand naturally falls, it can all be done entirely by feel.
The Mclaren works with you, and few mid-engined supercars feel as user-friendly. The Spider’s ability to throw some sunlight on your scalp and send more decibels to your ears enhances the base 570S experience. Perhaps the only real stumbling block is whether going topless is worth the considerable $40,750 premium over the similarly excellent Coupe.
Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale Mclaren 570S Spider 3799cc V8, 32v, dohc, twin-turbo 419kw @ 7500rpm 600Nm @ 5000-6500rpm 7-speed dual-clutch 1498kg 3.2sec (claimed) 10.7L/100km $435,750 Now