There’s an old adage about meeting expectations, which declares that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. The engineers and designers at McLaren clearly beg to differ, as is evident by the brand’s latest 765LT “Longtail” Spider. Unveiled in July, the convertible iteration of the 765LT coupe, which debuted last year, represents the British automaker’s most powerful drop-top model to date. More impressive, its engineering and design make it a thrilling open-road speedster that can also dominate on the track. And given the model’s small production run, the 765LT Spider will also satiate consumers who yearn for exclusivity and collectability.
“It’s clear that our customers are increasingly attracted to the Longtail supercar proposition of exhilarating, extreme performance and limited availability,” says Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.
As with any supercar, performance matters more than anything else. The 765LT Spider clears all bars of expectation as far as that is concerned, and that capability begins with the car’s lightness. Mass matters greatly in the design of any high-performance sports car, since the reduction of weight lessens inertia, which then sharpens a car’s response to all driver inputs—accelerating, braking, and steering. The 765LT Spider weighs 176 pounds less than McLaren’s other spider, the 720S, and thanks to a revised, active, rear-wing calibration, the downforce that the car generates is 25% greater than the 720S, too.
All of that translates into eye-popping performance metrics. But the car’s ability isn’t impressive only on paper; its capability delivers an adrenaline rush for all those who grip the steering wheel and stomp on the throttle. Weighing slightly more than 3,000 pounds, the 765LT Spider can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and from zero to 124 mph in only 7.2 seconds, which means the car can cover a quarter mile in a mere 10 seconds. Given the right track conditions, it can also exceed 200 mph.
All of that is made possible by a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that churns out 755 hp and 590 ft.-lbs. of torque. Consumers drawn to that power also want to hear it, and that is where the 765LT Spider truly shines, given that the retractable roof removes any buffers of the supercar’s turbocharged symphony (an electric rear window can also be lowered when the roof is up, so drivers always have at least some access to the sound of those intoxicating engine revs).
“We developed the 765LT Spider to be a car without compromise,” says James Warner, McLaren Automotive’s chief engineer. “Every bit as exciting and rewarding to drive as the coupe, with all of the connection, closeness and engagement—but with the added benefit of so much more of that amazing LT sound, even closer to the driver.”
“When you lower the roof of the Spider, there is a step-change in character,” adds Ian Howshall, McLaren Automotive’s global product manager. “It’s almost a theatrical element, like experiencing a live orchestra from right in front of the stage.”
The 765LT Spider starts at $382,500, and although all 2021 production units are sold, the company is still accepting orders for cars to be produced in 2022. Only 765 examples will be built worldwide. cars.mclaren.com