Featuring a retractable hardtop that can drop in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 40km/h, the Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible rival uses the same technology developed initially for the 650S and 675LT Spider.
The removable roof adds 46kg to the 570S Spider’s carbonfibre-clad kerb weight, with extra reinforcement keeping the drop-top’s torsional rigidity the same as for the coupe.
Meanwhile, its mid-mounted 419kW, 600Nm 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 will push the 1498kg two-seater from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds, the same as for the hard-topped version.
The 570S Spider uses an unchanged seven-speed single-clutch transmission as the coupe. The suspension also remains as dual wishbones with adaptive dampers allowing for Normal, Sport and Track modes, with staggered Pirelli rubber – on 19-inch 10-spoke forged alloys down the front, 20s down the back – wrapped around pizza tray-sized carbon ceramic discs.
It’s explosively fast for a drop-top, dispatching the 0-200km/h sprint in 9.6secs and the 0-400m in 11.0secs. Jump on the stoppers at 200km/h and the 570S Spider will pull to a stop in 5.3secs and 130 metres, while from 100km/h it takes just 3.2secs – the same amount of time as it takes to get there – and 32 metres.
The Spider will hit a top speed of 328km/h, the same as for the Coupe, but roof-down it’s limited to a slightly milder 315km/h. Flat out, Bentley’s four-seat Continental GTC Supersports Convertible, flagged the fastest four-seat drop-top in the world, will edge out to 336km/h thanks to its 522kW, 1017Nm 6.0-litre W12 engine.
The sleeker shape of the drop-top profile means McLaren has had to fit the 570S Spider with a bespoke dark grey spoiler that’s 12mm taller than the coupe’s. That’s to help “offset the aerodynamic changes resulting from the Spider having a different rear upper body design”, it says.
Corner-carving ability comes courtesy of a system developed originally for Formula One called Brake Steer, which uses the McLaren’s brakes to drag the inside wheel on tip-in, helping to turn the 570S and minimise understeer. You’ll be able to test it at the limit too, with the electronic stability control system including a ‘Dynamic’ mode that switches off most of the electronic nannies and introduces the driver to a concept that McLaren simply describes as “increased driftability”.
Inside, occupants sit on hand-stitched leather seats with six-way electric adjustment, and the driver looks at a 10-inch digital instrument cluster. Most of the multimedia unit and climate control systems are controlled via a smaller centrally mounted 7.0-inch screen.
Don’t like the pork that the seats add? As always, there’s the option to rip them out and replace them with lightweight carbonfibre shell sport seats developed for the P1.
The first international deliveries of the McLaren 570S Spider start late this year.