As far as automotive super-suits go, the McLaren 600LT Spider is the closest way any mortal human being will ever come to having super powers.
A funny thing happened when I picked up the 2020 McLaren 600LT from McLaren Montreal in Laval. I was under the impression I was getting a coupe. I love a fixed roof on the majority of sporty and performance cars if for three reasons: generally speaking, the cars are lighter, stiffer and prettier. When I was told the 600LT was a Spider, for a nanosecond, I was buggered.
I was having lunch with one of my car-freak friends. This man, known only as Ian, is not your typical “wrencher.” He has spent much of his life working on and rallying cars that he himself modified and built. Ian once enjoyed the smell of fuel and engine oil but about three years ago, he had a change of heart.
A McLaren is a super-suit
I believe he finally succumbed to the temptation of sticking his finger in a socket after 50 years of being told not to. Whatever happened, he turned to electrons. He was among the first in the country to take delivery of a Dual-Motor Performance Tesla Model 3 which he quickly dubbed “Magneto.” He refers to his “3” in this manner for obvious reasons, and because he feels like a super-hero when he drops into his car.
This was brought up when I was attempting to suitably describe what it’s like to drive the McLaren 600LT. Up to a certain extent, the car has the ability to defy the laws of physics, which is intoxicating. At any moment, any would-be foes on four or even two wheels has no hope of getting the best of my super-suit.
All the power
This car’s rocket booster is a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 which produces 592-horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 457 lb.-ft. of torque from 5,500 to 6,500 rpm. This thrust propels the car to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 324 km/h. Now, I’m not saying I felt cocky but this kind of power is so reassuring that there’s no need to demonstrate my superior firepower. Think the Mark 85 Iron Man suit and its synthetic tesseract ark reactor.
This exoskeleton has one drawback though. Such great abilities come at the expense of a certain level of comfort. The 2020 McLaren 600LT Spider is designed to go to Jupiter and back but occasionally, the moon will do just fine.
Equipped for battle, on any road or track
The carbon fiber monocell II body structure is set up with a double wishbone suspension that includes adaptive dampers. This chassis was conceived with maximum adherence and grip in mind and in order to achieve this, concessions were made to comfort. On a driving scale that goes from 1 to 10, 1 being cozy, relaxed and an excellent daily driver, and 10 being a track-ready machine, the 600LT is a 2.5 to 12.5. Maybe even 13. I wouldn’t know as I don’t have the necessary skills and I was expressly told to stay away from the track.
Driving the 2020 McLaren 600LT Spider is all encompassing. It requires, no demands, all of the driver’s attention and in a sense, it flushes out all of the day’s troubles and concerns. And, well, replaces them with the fear of getting pulled over by the local constabulary should you accidentally brush the throttle. But all kidding aside, the 600LT closes the gap between 570S and 720S. Unlike the latter, sustained pressure (7 to 8 seconds) on the go-pedal is possible whereas in the Super Series, the elements come barreling at you as such speed that hard acceleration has to be kept below the 5-second mark. Here, you can’t call on Jarvis to remotely help you out in the event something goes wrong.
The most best-looking super-suit
The 600LT is a hardcore driving tool and doles out certain compromises. But it makes up for it in styling. The Spider is torturously gorgeous and its 47mm longer butt (it is a long-tail after all) with fixed rear spoiler not only have an impact in the car’s size but its footprint equally seems engorged. I’m not sure how to address the buttresses in a PG-13 manner but damn, when the dihedral doors go up, I drop to my knees some more.
The cabin is all Sport Series spec and so includes the only physical disappointment to be brought up: the central screen is dated and often slow to load. The trick is to look ahead, way off in the distance, at all times. My tester’s interior featured McLaren’s super-lightweight carbon fiber racing seats. I’m not sure what they retail for but they are a must in this car, especially if it will be tracked. They are immensely supportive and far more comfortable than they look, far more than most of Tony’s suits.
The 2020 McLaren 600LT is the second coming since the rebirth of the LT moniker. It first arrived back in 2015 with the limited-production 675LT. Unlike the latter (I’ve not driven), the 600LT’s production numbers are not intended to be as limited but they won’t be around forever. Coupe production has ended however the Spider, clearer the hotter number of the two, is still available.
Power doesn’t come cheap
If you are thinking about one, consider that the base price is just shy of $300,000 USD. My tester, with options including the seats, loads of carbon fiber, front end vehicle lift (a must!), and special colors retails for $367,000. With freight, prep and other fees, $380,000, before taxes and exchange.
I want one. In the end though, I’d be happiest in my favorite spandex suit that makes me look -buff and thin, and maybe shoot synthetic webbing, aka, a McLaren 570S.