Fantastic Four: 4 Convertible Supercar Blockbusters
Summer is upon us and with it comes the onslaught of summer blockbusters. Superheroes and action stars duke it out on the big screen, each trying to be an even bigger spectacle than the last.
In our opinion, the best films all have a showstopping car. Typically in big budget movies, these cars end up being whatever latest supercar is on offer at your local Lamborghini or McLaren dealership.
In that vein, what better way to start off the season then to look at four of the best convertible supercars currently available? It's summer, after all, so why not look at cars that let us enjoy the weather?
1. McLaren MP4-12C Spider
The feel good choice of the summer is the 2014 McLaren MP4-12C Spider. It’s the best value by far with plenty of examples in the $130K range. This may seem steep, but how many convertibles do you know that push 204 mph with 616 hp on tap? A carbon tub is standard, which not only adds to its safety, but also makes the car amazingly rigid and decreases body roll—so much so that the MP4-12C Spider performs exactly like the coupe.
When you decide to let the sun shine in, a class leading two-piece design (which is incidentally the foundation for the newer 570S Spider) folds in 17 seconds at speeds up to 19 mph.
With the top and rear glass window down, the MP4-12C Spider aurally assaults you with mechanical turbo, engine and exhaust notes. The buttresses behind each seat include an integrated roll bar to further increase the safety of the Spider's cabin.
The roof mechanism is engineered so efficiently and in such a compact manner that it allows for a transparent engine cover, despite it being mid-engine. This is a nice touch, as most mid-engine convertibles do not offer this due the additional space and changes needed to accommodate the drop top mechanism.
You’ll reach 62 mph in three seconds thanks to the twin-turbo dry sump V8—all while your hair is blowing in the wind. With an original MSRP north of $330K, I’m sure you can agree that the MP4-12C Spider offers a value anyone would be happy with.
2. McLaren 570S Spider
If you’re looking for something with a little more action and adventure, look no further than the McLaren’s 570S Spider.
If that last 3/4 view looks familiar, it’s because it shares the same ingenious two-piece mechanism originally found in the MP4-12C Spider. Why change a good thing, right? This continues in the engine as well, where it utilizes the same fundamental V8 dry sump twin turbo from the MP4-12C Spider.
The 570S Spider isn’t the sequel to the MP4-12C Spider; rather, it’s a newer spinoff—part of what McLaren calls the “Sports Series.” This is the entry level to the McLaren brand, which includes the 570S, GT and Spider.
The 570S Spider has a much more aggressive look than the MP4-12C Spider—borrowing some noticeable styling cues from the mighty McLaren P1. Newer technology throughout the car also allows for a more seamless transition between weekend top down cruiser and track junkie. The varying drive modes give the car multiple personality disorder—in a good way. It's something offered in most modern sportscars, but never quite as drastically as in the McLaren.
Carbon fiber from the monocoque spills throughout the cabin, giving the 570S Spider a performance-oriented feel despite missing its roof when desired. Performance buckets are comfortable while still providing ample support under load.
The base price of the Sports Series starts in the $180K range for 2016, while the MP4-12C started north of $229K back in 2012. The 570S Spider interestingly performs at the same level as the MP4-12C, despite it being almost four years newer. Think of the 570S Spider as the Swiss Army Knife of supercars. It can do it all.
3. Lamborghini Huracán Spyder
If Italian cinema is more your style, enter the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder.
No subtitles are necessary with the Huracán Spyder. What you see is what you get. You’ll immediately notice this is the only car of the four with a traditional soft top. While it's somewhat of a throwback, especially compared to the three others in this feature, the soft top doesn't distort the design language at all. “Designed to cut thru the air and be one with the sky,” per Lamborghini’s own description.
Soft-top aside, the Huracán Spyder is also the only car of the four that is powered by a naturally aspirated V10. The sheer torque of the V10 will surely make you forget any added inconvenience of having a soft top. Putting that kind of power to the wheels requires all-wheel drive, and the Huracán Spyder launches accordingly. Think brutal launch with unabashed violence.
Similar to the others, an electric glass rear window separates the cabin from the rear of the car, which can be retracted to allow that fully open air feeling. The top can be lowered and raised at speeds up to 30 mph (almost double the speed of hard top counterparts). It's handy if you're in stop and go traffic and want to switch up the look.
Aesthetically (particularly in this bright green) the Huracán Spyder demands attention. Whereas the McLarens are more reserved, the Huracán Spyder's sharp angles make it look fast while sitting still. The open-air cockpit only adds to its artistic presence.
The center console controls on the Huracán resemble those of a fighter plane. The start button switch is fashioned after firing a missile: flip up the cover and press down the button to fire…up the engine that is.
It doesn't have a transparent engine cover, just exit louvers to allow for additional heat exhaust. There isn't any storage either. Its front bonnet only has space for two small duffel bags.
Consider the Huracán Spyder as a throwback to the traditional top down experience, with modern Lamborghini performance and amenities, of course.
4. Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
Last but not least is the Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster, the Michael Bay, budget-busting blockbuster that slams audiences into the backs of their seats.
When I say budget busting, I mean starting-at-$460K-type budget busting. But as Ferris Bueller once said, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
Of the four, the Aventador S Roadster is the no apologies, I’ll take it all, in your face choice. It’s also the one that most closely resembles a coupe with the top on. It's barely noticeable until you're within arms length of it.
Rather than a retractable top, the Aventador S Roadster has a targa-style roof, using two hard shell pieces that manually lift off and store in the front boot. Removal and storage takes less than a minute for both, assuming you’ve had some experience doing it.
Under the transparent rear decklid lies the classic Lamborghini V12, with 729hp and the capability to propel this giant blue wedge past the 217 mph mark. 0-60 comes in three seconds with the quick shifting 7-speed ISR transmission.
A nice party trick offered by the Aventador S Roadster is four-wheel steering. The combination of four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering allows for amazing turning radiuses at slow speed as well as an unparalleled level of control at high speeds, specifically tuned to your profile.
Which Is Best for Summer?
Just like your summer movie choices, it may be best to choose them all!
Best value: McLaren MP4-12C Spider
Best all-around car: McLaren 570S Spider
Best true convertible experience: Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
Best choice regardless of price: Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
Special thanks to our friends at McLaren Newport Beach and Lamborghini Newport Beach.