by Jay Traugott
Meet the 2022 McLaren 765LT Spider, the topless version of the formidable 765LT hardtop coupe. McLaren's natural order of things is as follows: an all-new model that debuts in coupe form. Within a year the spider convertible arrives. A couple of years later the high-performance version is released, and then a year or so after its own spider hits the streets. The McLaren 765LT is, of course, the more extreme variant of the 720S, a supercar that remains impressive in its own right.
The 765LT Spider's arrival thus completes the Super Series lineup, save for some potential special editions. The new model meets and often exceeds expectations. Those concerned about the loss of performance compared to the coupe really shouldn't be, but we'll get to that shortly. With its retractable hardtop, twin-turbo V8, and exclusive status, the new 765LT reminds the world (namely Ferrari and Lamborghini) that McLaren is a force to be reckoned with.
See trim levels and configurations:
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The 'LT' in the name stands for Long Tail, a tradition that dates back to a special version of the legendary McLaren F1. The new 765LT Spider's overall exterior design doesn't differentiate much from that of the coupe, but some changes were required. The electronically operated one-piece carbon-fiber Retractable Hard Top can be lowered in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
A powered rear window can be lowered even when the roof is up to allow lovely engine notes into the cabin, courtesy of the full titanium exhaust system. Oftentimes, a convertible loses structural strength and rigidity compared to a coupe. That's not the case here.
The spider's carbon fiber MonoCage II structure was designed alongside the coupe's own monocoque and therefore shares its structural strength. No additional bracing over the coupe was necessary. At the rear, carbon fiber structural supports aid in rollover protection. Additional exterior enhancements include a new front splitter to aid airflow around, under, and over the car, and to cool the low-temperature radiators located behind the headlights. Buyers can choose from a range of unique exterior colors and McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is available for even greater customization.
Like the 765LT coupe, the new spider boasts a motorsport-inspired interior with lightweight Alcantara trim throughout the cabin. Exposed carbon fiber can be found on the floor. Air conditioning and audio systems are sacrificed to help conserve weight, though both can be added at no extra cost. The Senna's Super-Lightweight double-skinned carbon fiber racing seats are available while an upgraded Bower & Wilkins audio system is optional. There's also some extra luggage space beneath the tonneau cover.
An eight-inch high-resolution display comes standard and works directly with the Folding Driver Display. Lockable storage can be found in the door pockets and central tunnel. Other options include a high-definition reversing camera and 360-degree 4-camera parking assist system.
McLaren created eight unique interior themes, each having a range of colors for the leather, stitching, and Alcantara. Like always, MSO is there for buyers who want more with goodies like a Clubsport Pack and LT Black Pack.
Located midship, the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 755 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission whose gear ratios have been revised for 15 percent faster gear changes compared to the 720S Spider. It also has 25 percent more downforce and a recalibrated active rear wing.
Drivers have the ability to adjust transmission and suspension characteristics with three unique driving modes: Comfort, Sport, and Track.
Performance is mighty impressive. Zero to 60 mph happens in 2.7 seconds, 0-124 mph in 7.2 seconds, and the quarter-mile in ten seconds flat. Top speed is 205 mph. Total weight comes to 3,060 pounds, a mere 108 pounds over the coupe and yet the spider isn't any slower. And yes, the 765LT Spider is the fastest convertible LT supercar it's ever built.
McLaren has confirmed 765LT Spider pricing will begin at $382,500 - a $14,500 and $67,500 increase over the 765LT coupe and 720S Spider, respectively. Production will be limited to only 765 examples, just like the coupe, all of which are sold out. It won't take long for the 765LT Spider to sell out, too.
The 765LT Spider occupies a very specific space between supercars and hypercars. In some cases, the 765LT models outperform older hypercars. For now, its main rivals include the Ferrari F8 Spider, Aston Martin DBS Volante, and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder. A higher performance F8 coupe and convertible are expected shortly.
The McLaren 765LT Spider does represent the end of an era not only for McLaren but for the world of supercars in general. Pure internal combustion is making way for various forms of electrification, a technology McLaren has firmly committed itself to. There's no better way for the carmaker to bid farewell to combustion-only models than with a masterpiece like this.
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