Published on July 28th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin


765LT Spider Debuts As McLaren’s Fastest Convertible Yet

This new 765LT Spider is also incidentally the brand’s most powerful drop-top to date. 

To the millionaires in the world who wanted a 765LT but also desired a little bit of top-down action and excitement, there is now good news on that front as McLaren has recently released a convertible variant of its Super Series range topper. 

Dubbed rather unimaginatively as the 765LT Spider, one might presume that it is to be rather similar to its fixed-roof sibling. And you’re certainly right on the money, but perhaps in more rather ways than you initially have thought of. 

Starting with the differences first however and naturally kicking things off with its retractable roof first, the one-piece carbon fibre Retractable Hard Top (RHT) has been touted by McLaren to take just 11 seconds for it to be raised and lowered completely. It also apparently can be electrically operated at speeds of up to 50 km/h. 

Delving into the nerdier details however, perhaps the more impressive feat McLaren has managed with this 765LT Spider is the addition of only a measly 49 kg to the featherlight 1,339 kg kerb weight of the coupe counterpart when it came to chopping its top off. That is because due to the unique construction of carbon fibre monocoque structure it shares with its hard-top brethren, the British supercar manufacturer has amazingly not needed to add any heavy bracing in maintaining its structural rigidity.  

Courtesy of this minuscule addition in weight therefore, the 765LT Spider pulls off the not-insignificant achievement of exactly matching its fixed-roof twin in both power and performance figures. With its 765 PS 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 capable of slingshotting this most powerful of drop-top Mclarens to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 2.8 seconds, and onto a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph). 

Now moving onto the other similarities with the coupe meanwhile, the 765LT Spider naturally retains all the same wild aerodynamic bodywork that enables it to generate 25% more downforce than the 720S on which it is based. Continuing on within too, this cabriolet’s lightweight cockpit design is almost virtually identical to its hard-top twin. 

The keyword there though is almost, as the cabriolet variant does net some practical add-ons over the coupe. Chief among which is the increased headroom available within the 765LT Spider, that comes courtesy of not needing a central seal on the roof panel of the RHT.  

Despite also featuring slightly smaller and lighter doors over its coupe counterpart, their frameless design and the slightly shorter A-pillars of the 765LT Spider over its fixed-roof sibling supposedly enables for easier ingress and egress into the cabin. Exclusive to the cabriolet variant too is an electrically retractable rear window, which allows for the noise roaring out from those quad-titanium tips to be better enjoyed from within the cockpit. 

In rounding up the differences between the fixed-roof and drop-top 765LTs, the Longtail rear wing has been recalibrated in the cabriolet to account for its revised rear profile. Its suspension setup has also been tweaked slightly to compensate for the added weight. 

Exactly the same to its coupe counterpart however, McLaren will only be making 765 of these 765LT Spiders. Even while wearing a £310,500 (RM 1.8 million) price tag too, it is reported that all 2021 build allocations have already been accounted for. 

PRESS RELEASE: Renowned worldwide for the exclusive, luxury, high-performance supercars on which it has built its reputation over the past decade, McLaren Automotive today reveals another landmark model: the 765LT Spider.

Complementing the 765LT ‘Longtail’ coupe unveiled last year – all of which are sold – the new Spider is McLaren’s most powerful-ever convertible supercar and brings highest-ever levels of driver engagement to the McLaren LT experience. Engineered in addition with the other core attributes intrinsic to any McLaren Longtail – minimised weight, track-focused dynamics and optimised aerodynamics – the 765LT Spider has all of the class-leading abilities of the coupe and also meets the LT demand for exclusivity: just 765 cars will be available globally for customer order.

Carrying over the coupe’s dynamic and aerodynamic DNA with no structural compromise and only a minimal 49kg weight increase – primarily from the retractable hard top and accompanying operating mechanism – the 765LT Spider weighs in at just 1,388kg (DIN weight), which is 80kg lighter than a 720S Spider and circa 100kg lighter than its closest comparable competitor. 

The electrically operated, one-piece carbon fibre Retractable Hard Top (RHT) enables open-top motoring in just 11 seconds and operates at speeds of up to 50km/h, bringing the dramatic soundtrack of the quad-exit titanium exhaust system into the cabin to take driver engagement into another dimension. 

“As we continue to build the LT sub-brand with the introduction of the new 765LT Spider, it’s clear that our customers are increasingly attracted to the Longtail supercar proposition of exhilarating, extreme performance and limited availability. With all 765 examples of the 765LT coupe sold, it’s no surprise that as we publicly announce our new LT Spider, production capacity for 2021 is already filled.” — Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive 

The immense performance and dynamic prowess of the new Spider – already proven in the 765LT coupe – are enhanced by three compelling factors: the stability of its MonoCage II-S structure, the game-changing design of its one-piece Retractable Hard Top roof, and the ongoing determination of McLaren engineers to pursue the company’s philosophy of super-lightweight engineering.

The Spider version of the carbon fibre MonoCage II – designated MonoCage II-S – was developed alongside the coupe monocoque and shares most of its structural elements, including the windscreen surround. Such is the strength and stiffness of the structure that no additional bracing is required over the coupe – another weight-optimising factor. At the rear of the car, carbon fibre structural supports are fully bonded into the chassis to provide rollover protection. 

The convertible roof design plays an integral role in the structure, featuring a carbon fibre frame within the Retractable Hard Top panel and creating a full carbon fibre shell when closed. There are also additional comfort benefits for occupants – because it is a single-piece panel with no central seal, headroom is improved, while the extended length of the roof panel allows the tops of the A-pillars to be further forward, enhancing the sense of space and easing ingress and egress.

Like every LT, the new Spider is designed to excel on track, however the extra dimension of theatre and drama offered by the convertible roof also makes it an even more immersive and compelling car to drive on the road. With the same highly evolved aerodynamic package as the coupe – although with active rear wing calibration revised to reflect whether the roof is up or down and a recalibration of the dampers to account for the minor increase in weight – the Spider matches the coupe’s outstanding aero performance in every respect, with class-leading downforce 25% greater than that of a 720S Spider.

Performance is ferocious, the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 765PS – giving the 765LT Spider a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio of 598PS-per-tonne at lightest dry weight – and 800Nm of torque. Transmission gear ratios have been revised for even greater engagement and performance; in-gear acceleration is 15% quicker than a 720S Spider, helping the new Longtail to achieve the fastest lap times ever posted by a convertible LT model. 

The 0-100km/h time often seen as a benchmark figure is 2.8 seconds (0-60mph is 2.7 seconds), with 0-200km/h (124mph) taking 7.2 seconds. The new LT Spider takes 10.0 seconds to cover 400m (¼ mile) from standstill and the car’s maximum speed is 330km/h (205mph).

 “A McLaren ‘Longtail’ is engineered to deliver not only incredible performance but also the highest levels of driver engagement. The 765LT coupe set new benchmarks in maximising a driver’s connection with the car and the Spider builds on this, adding the additional engagement factor of open-air driving to give direct access to the scintillating sound of the titanium exhaust – a pleasure that thanks to the electrically operated rear window can also be enjoyed with the retractable roof in place.” — Jamie Corstorphine, Director of Product Strategy, McLaren Automotive

The most powerful McLaren convertible ever and the latest and most engaging addition to the brand’s Longtail lineage can be ordered now from McLaren retailers. Pricing is from £310, 500 and availability is limited to just 765 cars for customer order worldwide, with 2021 production already all sold. 

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Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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