We have owned the McLaren 675 LT Spider for a year and a half now. It is one of the few cars I have bonded to almost instantly. In terms of driving thrill and engagement, I would put it in my top three, along with the Ferrari F40 and F50. Looking back, collecting the McLaren 675LT Spider was the most excited I have been about picking up a new car since the arrival of the Ferrari F40 back in 2006 (see karenable article: https://karenable.com/1st-four-days-with-the-ferrari-f40/ ) . The configuration we decided upon was anything but subtle combining rather bright Tarocco Orange paint work with an orgy of carbon fiber. Build quality is easily the best of any McLaren I have owned to date. Our 675LT Spider was spec’ed for road use and is unlikely to ever see a track. As such we did opt for the more comfortable electric heated seats, electric steering column, vehicle lift and the full leather interior. I would have preferred the manual racing buckets, but Mrs. SSO was fairly prescriptive when it came to the seats referencing a not so pleasant 10 hour she once spent in the F40’s utilitarian buckets crossing the Swiss Alps.
Having owned multiple McLaren’s, it’s interesting to see where the 675LT fits in the portfolio. When the 675LT first came out, I heard multiple comments that placed it basically on par with the P1. Having driven both back to back a few times in an attempt to build a robust comparison, my key takeaways on the 675LT Spider are that it is hugely capable across a wider range of conditions, and performance is immense while still being quite accessible. It is much more “real world” useable than the P1 and doesn’t have the same intimidation factor. The P1 creates separation though is in its ability to warp time and rearrange your brain cells. The way the P1 moves, reacts to inputs, and sounds, are all unique vs. any other car. That having been said, there is something about the 675LT that puts a smile on my face every time I drop into the driver’s seat.
The difference between the 650S and the 675LT is actually what I found to be more surprising given that the latter is based on the former. Unlike the Maranello Specials, the 675LT does not feel like a 650S that has been turned up to 11 and had all the carpeting ripped out. It feels like a completely re-engineered car. The 675LT has a polished rawness which has huge personal appeal. The power band is very different, the engine revs more freely, & the handling is both sharper and more responsive, yet it is neither jittery or fells high strung. Overall the 675LT is much more focused driving machine which is hugely impressive given how competent the 650S already is.
The 675LT Spider’s life today is a bit different from the rest of the fleet. It lives up north in ski country close to several of the best driving roads in the US. It’s destiny for the next several years is long morning drives across the mountains on roads it is designed to devour. Last summer one of my son’s and I drove the 675LT the 1600 miles up to its new home in a short day and a half sprint. The trip was done with the powertrain set to sport and the handling to normal which allowed for rapid progress while not bouncing the teeth out of our heads. We drove through sun, torrential downpour, over the mountains, and with temperatures well over 100 F to start and under 40 F at the end of the journey. During this the 675LT never put a foot wrong. Probably the toughest part of the entire trip was resisting the temptation to really open it up while driving across the vast expanses of Wyoming. At one point we went close to an hour without passing through a town or seeing another car on the road. The only negative on the trip was a small chip left on the windscreen from a rock that came off the back of a truck.
Given just how much we all enjoy driving the McLaren 675LT Spider, it has already been designated a long term ” keeper”. It is rare that you find a car with this much character and the performance to back it up. The 675LT Spider puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. It is a car that fully embodies “the thrill of driving”.
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