Woking, England - Can't tell which McLaren is which? Well, the differentiation game just got a whole lot tougher. The fifth car to carry the Longtail moniker in McLaren's exceptional range of vehicles has made its global debut.

The manufacturer has released the first images and details of the new 600LT Spider, which it says fully embodies the McLaren Longtail philosophy of increased power, reduced weight, optimised aerodynamics, track-focused dynamics and limited availability.

In addition, the Spider is said to bring a new dimension of excitement over the 600LT Coupé, "without compromise to the dynamic purity of the most performance-focused car in the Sports Series line-up: a retractable hardtop to give the choice of open-air driving."

Now, open top or not, the 600LT is all about the numbers. 

Here are some cool facts about the car:

- Top-exit exhausts introduced with the Coupé also feature on the Spider, to further amplify aural and visual excitement, especially when the roof or rear window are down, McLaren notes in the 600LT's marketing material.

- The car is also 80kg lighter than the competition, with only a 50kg premium over the 600LT Coupé. McLaren says in its lightest configuration, dry weight measure in at 1297kg. No additional strengthening was required to maintain full structural rigidity  in this latest model.

- Its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces 441kW and 620Nm, which is good enough to blast from a standstill to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds. Keep your foot flat on the gas and you'll breach 200km/h in 8.4 seconds. Finally, flat out it'll reach a maximum velocity of 324km/h. (Yes, this is a road car!)

- To ensure you remain upright at all times, bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres are fitted.

- All cars are hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, England.

- UK customers will pay from R3 559 342, before optional extras are added...which you know will be added.

Heritage runs deep

The new 600LT Spider joins an illustrious bloodline that began in 1997 with the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’, of which only a development prototype and nine examples were built.

Victorious in five of the 11 rounds of the 1997 FIA GT Championship, the original Longtail also finished first and second in the GT1 class at Le Mans, almost 30 laps ahead of the opposition. McLaren Automotive revived the legendary Longtail name at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, with the launch of the 675LT Coupé, a limited-volume model that rapidly sold out. In response to customer demand, a 675LT Spider followed, all 500 examples of which were sold within two weeks. 

"The fourth model to bear the Longtail name, the 600LT Coupé, was revealed in July 2018 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and has since been hailed by critics as one of the finest cars in its class – an accolade that will now be challenged by its new Spider sibling," Mclaren spokesmen say.

Lots to brag about

It's not so much the near-450kW that you have on tap in the 600 LT Spider that makes it an interesting car to talk about amongst your supercar buddies...its engineering can keep you yapping for days too. The car's grunt is augmented by lightweight carbon fibre bodywork that creates the 'Longtail' silhouette and the same design of fixed rear wing as the Coupé which, despite the aerodynamic challenges posed by a convertible body, generates the same 100kg of downforce at 250km/h. 

Ultra-precise, track-focused handling is supported by a forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension system with recalibrated dampers, firmer engine mounts and a lightweight braking system.

"Lowering the roof of the 600LT Spider showcases the performance-orientated interior, which features lightweight Alcantara trim and Carbon Fibre Racing Seats from the McLaren P1 as standard," McLaren spokesmen explain. They add that the Super-Lightweight Carbon Fibre Racing Seats designed for the McLaren Senna are available as an option, either on their own or within the MSO Clubsport Pack.

Further weight-saving options and measures – including deletion of the audio and climate control systems – are available to buyers determined to shave off every kilogramme possible.

Local pricing?

McLaren has not listed a price for the new 600LT Spider yet, but you can expect it to retail for much more than it does in the UK. (Incidentally, 500 600LT Spider will be built for the UK market alone.

Drive360