McLaren 765LT Spider cuts the roof and spits fire

McLaren is adding a new droptop to its line-up, with the 765LT Spider chopping the roof off the most recent Longtail. Only 765 of the convertibles will be produced – and only a third of that making it to North America – each with an electrically-operated, one-piece carbon fiber roof and a 755 horsepower engine.

The result, as you might've already guessed, is a very fast car indeed. With the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine delivering 590 lb-ft of torque, McLaren says it's actually the fastest accelerating LT Spider ever: 0-60 mph comes in 2.8 seconds.

0-124 mph, meanwhile is a mere 7.2 seconds. There's 15-percent quicker in-gear acceleration than the 720S, with a revamped version of the 7-speed Sequential Shift Gearbox. Previously, the automaker says, if you tried to downshift in a way that would over-rev the V8, the transmission would refuse it. Now, for the 765LT Spider, it'll acknowledge the request and then change gear as soon as the engine speed allows – complete with an audible bounce off the limiter.

A quicker steering rack ratio and stiffer torsion bar improve the amount of steering feedback, and there are car-specific updates to the Proactive Control II suspension system including new software and new lightweight dual springs. It rides slightly lower than a 720S too, and the Spider gets the same suite of aero improvements as the 765LT Coupe enjoyed.

That adds up to 25-percent more downforce, helped in no small amount by the active rear wing. That has been reconfigured to suit the open-top style and aerodynamic profile. Hit an "Aero" button in the cabin, and a "Driver Downforce" mode automatically adjusts the wing angle depending on speed.

As standard, there are 10-spoke ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, with a custom Pirelli Trofeo R tire. Optional carbon ceramic brakes – borrowed from McLaren's Senna – can be added. Treating the ears, meanwhile, is a new titanium exhaust system, with four tailpipes protruding from the rear deck. They're more than capable of spitting flames, McLaren says.

Inside, once past the double-skin dihedral doors, there's a unique numbered plate and more carbon fiber trim than the coupe version. The roof can be had in electrochromic glass, with adjustable tint levels; either way, the rear window can be lowered independently, to better allow the engine's soundtrack to be heard. Carbon fiber shelled race seats are clad in Alcantara; the Senna's Super-Lightweight double-skinned race seats are an option.

The 8-inch central touchscreen is carried over, as is the folding driver display. As standard there's no audio system – it saves 3.3 pounds, McLaren says – but a lightweight 4-speaker system can be added at no cost. A full Bowers & Wilkins system is available too, as is a vehicle-lift system to raise the nose of the car and a 360-degree camera to help make parking easier.

Sales of the 765LT Spider are beginning now, with McLaren saying that 2021 production has already sold out. Pricing kicks off at $382,500 before options and customizations.