Although we make every effort to cover our own travel costs, in this case McLaren flew us to Phoenix to drive the 600LT (and the 720S Spider; more on that next week) and provided two nights in a hotel.
I’ll admit it: I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the McLaren 600LT Spider. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the McLaren 570S, the car it’s based on—unlike almost everyone else who’s driven one, I’d pick an Audi R8 as my daily drivable mid-engined supercar. While the 570S made concessions to practicality, I never gelled with the way it looks, and it had enough electronic foibles that they became one of my overriding memories of my time with the car. But the 600LT makes many fewer compromises in the name of everyday use, and it’s all the better for it.
Veteran McLaren watchers will know from just the name that there’s something special about this one: in McLaren-speak, LT means “long tail.” The first long-tail McLarens—ten F1 GTR race cars and three F1 GT road cars—appeared in 1997, with new bodywork that extended the nose and tail to increase downforce at speed.
More recently, McLaren dusted off the idea with the 675LT, which applied the same ideas of more power, less weight, and more aerodynamic downforce to the 650S supercar. The result was a track-focused adrenaline-delivery device that hit all the right notes with both the journalists that got to drive it and the 500 lucky individuals who were able to buy one before the order book was full. In fact, there was so much pent-up demand for the 675LT that McLaren announced another 500 were coming that would be convertibles. These, too, sold out quickly.
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