One of the few things capable of surpassing the experience of driving the McLaren 650S Coupé could be taking the Spider version out for a ride.
The prospect of fresh-air driving in one of the most beautiful cars on the market will be an appealing one for any high-performance car enthusiast; the brand-new roadster, moreover, gives up very little to the coupé in terms of speed and driving dynamics.
You can experience the 650S for yourself by booking a test drive at McLaren Ascot, Berkshire or McLaren Knightsbridge, London today.
The Formula 1-inspired “MonoCell" which forms the core of the 650S Spider is comprised of carbon fibre, one of the strongest yet lightest man-made materials in the world. This provides exceptional protection to the driver and passenger in the event of any impact. A range of innovative active safety systems, however, are in place to ensure that such a misfortune does not come to pass. Carbon-ceramic brakes and premium-quality Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres ensure phenomenally low stopping distances, whilst a host of mechanisms including Brake Steer, ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Launch Control provide outstanding grip and stability in dangerous situations.
Endowed with the same flawless beauty and unique face of its coupé sibling, the 650S Spider also possesses a two-piece, electronically-retractable hard-top roof.
This takes slightly under 17 seconds to be raised or lowered, which can be done whilst travelling at speeds under 19mph.
With the mechanism folded into the back of the vehicle, you can enjoy the sonorous roar of the 3.8 litre V8 engine as you put the Spider through its paces.
When the roof is lowered on colder or wetter days, the quality of its engineering ensures that it provides excellent insulation.
For a combination of the two it is possible to lower the glass behind the seats, allowing you to immerse yourself in the engine's music without any buffeting from the wind.
The sophisticated climate control and audio systems, meanwhile, adjust airflow or alter the volume respectively to suit the circumstances of the moment.
The 650S Spider boasts the same vigorous 3.8 litre V8 engine as its coupé counterpart.
In most convertibles, a small but noticeable amount of performance and dynamism is sacrificed for the looks and driving enjoyment peculiar to roadsters.
Not so with this vehicle, whose engineers have made heroic and successful efforts to give it the same athleticism as its sibling.
The Spider may give up a miniscule amount to the coupé in terms of its maximum speed (204mph, as opposed to the coupé's 207mph).
But has an identical 0-62mph acceleration time of 3.0 seconds, and reaches 100mph from a standing start in 5.8 seconds – 0.1 second less than the coupé.
The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox offers a sublimely smooth ride in all circumstances, and is controlled via racecar-derived paddles on the steering wheel.
The Adaptive Dynamic Panel, meanwhile, enables you to choose from three driving modes (Normal, Sport and Track), each applicable to certain circumstances.
|Vehicle length||4512 mm / 177.6 in|
|Vehicle width||2093 mm / 82.4 in|
|Vehicle height||(unladen) 1203 mm / 47.4 in|
|Wheelbase||2670 mm / 105.1 in|
|Unladen weight (DIN)||1468 kg / 3236 lb|
|Engine / Cylinders||3.8-litre/V8|
Engine Capacity||3799 cc|
|Max Torque||678 nm @ 6000 rpm|
|Max Power||478 kW @ 7250 rpm|
|Top Speed||204 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 3.0 sec|
|Combined cycle||24.2 mpg|