A real thrill ride

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By John Mur­doch

THE McLaren 570S Spi­der is a stun­ning mid-en­gined mas­ter­piece and its fan­tas­tic looks match its blis­ter­ing per­for­mance. I was blown away by the thrilling driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. With 200mph­plus on tap this con­vert­ible rear­wheel drive su­per­car pro­vides all the rush you could ever want from a car plus open-air fun.

Sur­pris­ingly the Spi­der is also very com­fort­able and re­fined and is also happy when it is pur­ring through towns and vil­lages at low speeds be­ing ad­mired by other mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans.

The Spi­der is the third bodystyle in McLaren’s Sports Se­ries and lines up along­side the Coupe on which it is based and the GT.

Start­ing price of the Spi­der with­out op­tions is £164,750 – a lot of money but a bit of a bar­gain when you con­sider it is a hand-crafted su­per­car. The first 400 were snapped-up in the blink of an eye and if you place an or­der now you will have to wait till next sum­mer at least be­fore tak­ing de­liv­ery.

The Spi­der’s clever roof is an in­te­grated, two-piece re­tractable hard­top con­structed of light­weight com­pos­ite pan­els which can be opened or closed in 15 sec­onds, at speeds up to 25mph.

They give the car the same sleek ap­pear­ance whether raised or low­ered and, most im­por­tantly, there’s no per­for­mance com­pro­mise com­pared with the 570S Coupe, even though the Spi­der weighs in at 46kg more than thanks to the hard­top roof and its op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

This is be­cause the car’s chas­sis and tub are so strong that it did not re­quire any ex­tra strength­en­ing and as a re­sult the only ad­di­tional weight is for the mech­a­nism.

Po­si­tioned just be­hind the driver the 3.8-litre, twin-tur­bocharged McLaren V8 en­gine pro­duces 570ps at 7,400rpm and torque of 600Nm be­tween 5,000rpm and 6,500rpm.

In com­bi­na­tion with a seven-speed seam­less-shift gear­box fea­tur­ing Launch Con­trol tech­nol­ogy, the re­sult is a lux­ury sports con­vert­ible with su­per­car ac­cel­er­a­tion from stand­still to 62mph in just 3.2 sec­onds and a top speed of 204mph with the roof in place – iden­ti­cal to the 570S Coupe – drop­ping to a still as­ton­ish­ing 196mph with the roof down.

Another fea­ture is the glazed wind de­flec­tor which can be raised or low­ered at the touch of a but­ton and en­ables you to en­joy the fab­u­lous noise from the en­gine with go­ing com­pletely top­less.

En­try to the Spi­der is fairly easy via the dra­matic di­he­dral doors and ac­cess is even eas­ier when the roof is down. In­side it is very civilised for a su­per­car with all the lux­ury touches and tech­nol­ogy you would ex­pect.

Vis­i­bil­ity is sur­pris­ingly good all round and the cabin is very re­fined with nice switchgear, a dig­i­tal dash and lux­u­ri­ous leather trim­mings.

If you press a but­ton marked ‘Ac­tive’ on the cen­tre con­sole you un­lock a num­ber of user-con­fig­urable set­tings for the chas­sis and pow­er­train with three modes se­lectable in­de­pen­dently for each, rang­ing from Nor­mal to Sport and Track.

Nor­mal is the set­ting of choice as this car is more about hav­ing fun on the road and thanks to the fan­tas­tic elec­tro-hy­drauli­cally as­sisted steer­ing you can cer­tainly have any amount of it.

It is su­perbly in­volv­ing and al­lows you to make the right de­ci­sions.

The car gen­er­ates an amaz­ing amount of grip and even on pub­lic roads it is spe­cial. The set-up is re­ally well sorted and it cor­ners as if it is on rails. The stan­dard car­bon-ce­ramic brakes are de­signed to scrub off speed with­out fuss although they do re­quire quite a bit of pres­sure.

If you encounter speed bumps in town you sim­ply press a but­ton and the Spi­der’s neat nose will lift to avoid ex­pen­sive dam­age - a very use­ful fea­ture.

Amaz­ingly the Spi­der is also quite prac­ti­cal with a 150-litre front boot and with the roof in place there is an ex­tra 52 litres of lug­gage space un­der­neath the hard ton­neau cover be­hind the pas­sen­ger cell.

Ap­par­ently the Spi­der is ca­pa­ble of re­turn­ing 26.6mpg - but don’t ex­pect to get any­where near that as you will be too busy en­joy­ing your­self to care about econ­omy.

The Spi­der is well worth its price tag and you can hike the price dra­mat­i­cally with all man­ner of op­tions and be­spoke touches in­clud­ing your very own one-off colour scheme. I would cer­tainly rec­om­mend the sports ex­haust which en­hances your en­joy­ment with the top down.


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