Lanzante, the U.K.-based firm responsible for converting McLaren F1 GTRs and P1 GTRs to road-legal specification in Europe, announced a new project on Thursday that involves chopping the roofs off five P1s. Called the P1 Spider, it's a limited offering that gives a select few the opportunity to experience the open-top P1 they never could before.
Turning the P1 into an open-top machine wasn't as simple as slicing off the roof and calling it a day. The roof portion of the car integrates the engine's intake and plays a big part in the car's aerodynamics and structural rigidity. So Lanzante enlisted the best person for the job to make sure the transition from coupe to spider went off without a hitch: Paul Howse, the P1's original designer.
"The design has some subtle tweaks, and the body now flows from the bonnet edge around the A-pillar into the waistline, kicking up behind the driver, echoing the bodyside," Howse said in a statement. "This creates a floating fin to direct air into the engine, and then flows back down into the rear deck. The carbon buttresses cocoon the driver and echo the beautiful clean lines of the coupe’s tapered cabin. The rear deck design had to perform the same function as the coupe, so we have retained the layered gills to direct cool air over the exhaust and then evacuated at the back. In a change to the coupe, the engine now more exposed and visible through the carbon panel.”
Other changes to the body include adjustments to the front wing, doors, and clamshell engine cover. The lower portion of the chassis has been reengineered, presumably to improve body stiffness to counteract the loss of a roof panel. The newly positioned intakes, which now sit on the outer edges of the two humps, feed air directly to the turbochargers.
Though Lanzante didn't come out and say it, it's clear the P1 Spider will be open-top only, with no sort of removable soft- or hard-top roof to speak of. To compensate, the firm has improved the cabin's materials with leather and a material called SuperFabric to fight UV exposure and limit damage to bad weather, should the owner be caught out in a rainstorm.
Lanzante plans to limit production of the P1 Spider to five examples, with first deliveries starting before the end of 2022. Pricing hasn't been revealed, but with all the engineering involved, we wouldn't be surprised to see a job like this cost nearly seven figures. And that's before you factor in the price of a donor car.
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