McLaren finds its design mojo with drop-dead gorgeous 675 LT Spider

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Thing of beauty: McLaren 675 LT Spider

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McLaren has sometimes been criticized for designing its cars with too much focus on aerodynamics and science; for not tugging at the heartstrings like Ferrari, or offering something crazy like Lamborghini. Not so the new 675 LT Spider. This convertible thing of beauty has shot straight to the top of our list of stylish supercars. Just look at those gorgeous wheels!

When Gizmag took a look around the 675 LT Coupe earlier this year, we were taken aback by how visually different it was from the 650S it's based on. The Convertible is no different, taking the 650S Spider and turning it into an aggressive, drop-top tearaway.

Up front, an extended splitter and more efficient underbody pull the car to the road at high speeds, while the carbon fiber side sills direct air into the radiators cooling the its 3.8-liter V8. Down the back, there's a massive carbon fiber diffuser that works in tandem with the longer rear spoiler to generate downforce.

Besides the lack of a roof, one of the main differences between the Spider and the Coupe is the wheels on offer. McLaren's press shots show the convertible LT sitting on lightweight 20-inch wheels that look absolutely incredible – so incredible we're hard pressed to think of a nicer set of wheels in production at the moment.

If, for some crazy reason you're not quite as keen, the wheels from the 675 LT Coupe are also available on the Spider.

You might have noticed the words "carbon" and "fiber" have been used a lot in this story. That's because McLaren has gone all out with the lightweight weave in its attempts to make the LT more focused and faster than the regular 650S. Thanks (in part) to the liberal use of carbon fiber, the 675 LT Spider is 100 kg (220 lb) lighter than the 650S Spider, weighing in at just 1,270 kg (3000 lb).

This means the 675 LT Spider is just 40 kg (88 lb) heavier than the Coupe. Because the car's MonoCell chassis is so rigid, there's no need for heavy structural reinforcements to make sure the convertible is solid and safe – the only thing that makes the convertible LT heavier than the coupe is its roof mechanism. For the sake of comparison, the Ferrari 488 GTB uses a more conventional construction and weighs 50 kg (110 lb) more than its Coupe variant.

Power comes from the same 3.8-liter V8 that's hiding under the 675 LT Coupe's hood. That means you've got 497 kW (666 hp) and 700 Nm of torque on tap, enough to slingshot the car from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds and then on to 200 km/h in 8.1 seconds. Although that's 0.2 seconds slower than the Coupe, we'd bet on the convertible owner having more fun on the way thanks to the extra noise that you're exposed to with the top down.

And if a top speed of 326 km/h (203 mph) isn't fast enough to ruffle your toupee, we're not sure what is.

Just like the Coupe, the new 675 LT Convertible features a front track that's 20 mm wider than the 650S, as well as sitting on new lightweight springs that are 27 percent stiffer at the front and 63 percent stiffer at the rear to cater for the LT's extra downforce.

On the inside, McLaren has kitted the car out with carbon shelled buckets and has removed the air conditioning system as part of its track focus. If you're keen on driving your 675 LT Spider in hot conditions or just can't bear the thought of the cabin ever going over 18.5 degrees, you can cop a 16 kg weight penalty and have the system reinstalled.

So, how much is the drop-top 675 LT going to cost you? Er, quite a lot – £285,450 (US$431,814) to be precise. And you'd better get your order in quickly, because only 500 will be built globally.

Below is McLaren's launch film for the 675 LT Spider.

Source: McLaren

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