2018 McLaren 570S Spider Review: Topless Fun

Introduction
The McLaren Sports Series line up is now complete thanks to the new open top Spider. McLaren’s lopped the roof off, given the car a fresh new look, and even a bit more boot space. The Sport Series is McLaren’s take on the supercar you can use every day. Practicality-wise that’s not quite true, but it has a comfortable ride, good looks and more performance than anyone short of a racing driver can use. It’s an awesome bit of kit.

Did you know?
The McLaren logo is a refined version of the Kiwi bird that used to adorn Bruce McLaren’s race cars.


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Verdict: (8/10)
This is the easiest way to get into an open top McLaren and if you can find an excuse to put your cash down, you most certainly should. As a driver’s car it is sublime, yet there are few compromises to ride comfort so it’s useable daily. Despite its convertible roof, it’s still super quiet at motorway speeds. That cake you’ve been eyeing up… you can have it and eat it.

Design & Exterior
(9/10)
Interior & Comfort
(8/10)
Technology & Connectivity
(7/10)
Performance & Handling
(9/10)
Safety Features
(9/10)
Spec & Trim Levels
(8/10)
Running Costs & Fuel Economy
(7/10)
Pricing
(8/10)
We Like
The look
So much power
Ride comfort
We Don’t Like
Limited practicality
Price
Limited tech


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Design & Exterior: (9/10)
McLaren’s 570 range is a mixed bag. The S Coup’e has a wonderful front end, but the rear is polarising. The GT sorts out the rear end nicely and looks like a proper tourer. The Spider, however, is the most resolved of all of them.
Roof up or down it’s a stunning looking thing, offering proper supercar looks with a sensible roof solution. It doesn’t look like a coup’e with a hack job done on the roof, but a purpose built solution, which it is. It’s easily the best looking car in the line-up.


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Interior & Comfort: (8/10)
For a car that starts at more than lb160,000, you’d hope the interior looks and feels special. Luckily, the 570S Spider’s interior does and then some. McLaren makes a point of not buying any of its switchgear in from external manufacturers, it makes its own. As such, the control points in the car feel fantastic, even though the indicator lever look like a very posh dessert spoon.
McLaren’s ride comfort has always been up there with the best, and it’s no different here. The handling magicians at the McLaren Technology Centre know how to make a car ride wonderfully over nasty British roads.
The normal modes make it a breeze for daily driving, but it’s when you fiddle with the ‘active’ panel and play with the handling modes you see how smart the ride set ups are. Normal keeps things calm, Track… well it’s bumpy but so much fun.


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Technology & Connectivity: (7/10)
McLaren’s early attempts at infotainment were not great. Thankfully, that’s not the case in the 570S Spider. The infotainment hub is quick to respond, easy to use, and all round ace. There aren’t hot keys to take you to every function, which can irk, but it’s not a huge faff to navigate. Things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missing, which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s something smartphone addicts may miss.
There’s not much by way of toys either. This is a sports car after all, but the nav, Bluetooth, and audio work well. The Bowers and Wilkins stereo sounds as sweet as they come.
The 570S Spider’s instrument cluster is beautiful, a large screen displays all the information you could want (and it changes depending on which driving mode you’re in). The screen also shows the car’s reversing camera, which sounds like a great idea, but if you’re reversing in to a space the steering wheel can obscure the camera.
One other gripe to note is a minor one, but it’ll irk habitual satnav users. When the car is giving you a direction it doesn’t duck the music and speak over the top of it, rather stopping the music dead, barking a command, and resuming it after an uncomfortable gap. If you’re having an in-car singalong it’s… not ideal.


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Performance & Handling: (9/10)
With a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 putting out 562bhp and 443lb ft, the 570S Spider is hardly going to be slow. The run from 0-62mph takes 3.2 seconds and it’ll crack 204mph. There’s the barest hint of turbo lag when you’re lower down the rev range, but nothing that’ll really bother you on the regular. The 443lb ft means that in-gear acceleration is strong, and it’ll rev pretty high for some aural fun, though its engine isn’t the most characterful sounding out there.
McLaren’s ‘active’ panel changes the handling characteristics of the car. With the panel disengaged, or with the handling and powertrain set to ‘normal’, it’s useable daily. The ride isn’t too hard, but it can be a touch on the bumpy side if the road is rough. There are two further settings to play with: Sport and Track. They adjust the car’s springs, dampers, and power train. Track is only really suitable for… the track, so Sport is the mode to let off some steam after a tough day in the office.
Recommended engine: 3.8-litre turbocharged V8
0-62mph
3.2 seconds
Fuel economy
26.6mpg
Emissions
249g/km


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Safety Features: (9/10)
Thanks to its carbon fibre Monocell II tub, and more airbags than you can shake a stick at, the 570S Spider should do well in a crash. We wouldn’t recommend finding out though. The Monocell II Tub, incidentally, weighs just 80kg and lost no structural rigidity from losing the roof.


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Specs and Trim Levels: (8/10)
Colours
What do you want your car to wear? McLaren’s got a few to choose from, sure, but you can have pretty much any hue you want if you have a quiet word with the bespoke team at the manufacturer’s MSO division.
Trim Levels
Your spec is your own to choose, though we’d advise caution and wouldn’t encourage going all-out on the carbon fibre trim.
Size and Dimensions
Length
4,530mm
Width
1,930mm (including door mirrors)
Height
1,202mm
Max towing weight without brake
N/A


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Running Costs & Fuel Economy: (7/10)
McLaren builds its cars by hand at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey – take from that what you will.
The 570S is also powered by a 3.8-litre V8, and while technology is making cars more efficient, don’t go expecting to pass every fuel station you come across.
Reliability and Servicing
McLaren’s service intervals are pretty good all told, though, again, it’s a supercar, so you will have to pay the associated costs for work done to the car.
Minor/major
12 months or 9,300 miles.


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Pricing: (8/10)
Prices start at lb164,750, however, with colours, wheels, trim, carbon bits, etc, don’t expect to see too much change from lb200,000.
Recommendations
Luxury seeker
Tick all the boxes and get yourself a plush rocket.
Tech junkie
The reversing camera is pretty awesome. So spec that.
Cost conscious
Dropping at least lb164,750 on a supercar doesn’t scream ‘cost conscious’ to us. Maybe don’t spec the carbon?
Rivals
Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The ol’ classic, the 911 has been popular for over 50 years for a reason.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
Getting a touch long in the tooth now, but the V8 under the hood makes a great noise.
Audi R8 Spyder
A naturally aspirated V10 is a thing of beauty, and the R8 wrapped around it is awesome as well.
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
Another V10 supercar wrapped in a stunning body, this time it’s all Italian, all the time.
What others say
Auto Express
But the core of the car is what delivers a unique driving experience at this price. The 570S Spider opens you up to so much more than just the atmosphere.
Top Gear
‘It’s going some to say that this is the best value option at this price point, but it really does feel like the 570S Spider has a nice little niche going on as the best-value versus theatre mid-engined Spider.’
More McLaren:
Everything You Need To Know About The McLaren F1
Video First Drive: McLaren 570S Spider
McLaren Takes Amazing Life-Size Lego 720S to Goodwood

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