Lanzante has built itself a fine reputation for restoring and tweaking high end classics and sportscars. Now, the British company has turned its sights towards building a McLaren P1 Spider. It’s bespoke of course, as McLaren has never itself strayed into such territory as far as the P1 goes. McLaren has so far remained firmly in the hard top camp – maybe they will now reconsider.

Essentially, Lanzante has dared to venture into P1 Spyder territory at the request of a customer wishing to take his P1 driving experience to another level, though if that leaves you a little disappointed at not being able to own one, you might be pleased to find out that the Lanzante will in fact be building 5 McLaren P1 Spiders. No, you’re right; it isn’t many, but it should give a glimmer of hope for those wanting to own one.

Lanzante has a good relationship with McLaren, what with being a service centre for both McLaren racing and road production models, so Dean Lanzante got in touch with the P1’s designer Paul Howse for some tips rather than going it alone. The P1 is of course a V8 beast offering 903bhp, and taking away part of the structure of any car might compromise its rigidity and ultimately its handling, but mess with the structure of a car of the finesse and power of the P1 and things will need to be carefully adjusted elsewhere, to an extent risking changing the handling and what makes the car so exciting in the first place. Lanzante wanted the P1 DNA to remain.

What’s all the fuss about? You may well ask, just cut the roof panels out. I’ve seen customised Beetles minus the factory roof converted into cabriolets and even had a full ragtop cut into mine without compromising strength. Yet the P1 is a very different beast, not only did Lanzante remove roof panels, but the process also meant losing the air intake as well. No wonder McLaren hasn’t ventured down this path…

Lanzante says that it had even looked at the idea previously and not pursued it. This time they fully explored the ins and outs and came up with a design that would work. Now, the curves sweep around the sides of the car. It sort of looks like the moment you lift your shoe up from a hot pavement with melted chewing gum stretching a link between shoe and ground; everything flows with no beginning or end, like liquid metal (that odd analogy was a compliment to the design by the way). Lanzante says that the way it has designed the sides means that there is now a kind of elongated scoop to hook the air into the engine. And as far as stiffness goes, the company has re-engineered the chassis to make sure the P1 Spider is as rigid as the original coupe. Problem solved.

The collaboration with Howse has proved to be the catalyst that has made this project work. With all the brain power and effort that has gone into making a bespoke McLaren P1 Spider, it’s no wonder Lanzante decided to make a further 4 models. One would have been a shame!

There’s not going to be too long to wait until the first Lanzante P1 Spider becomes available to the public, the company says that the end of 2022 should see this happen. As for pricing, well the McLaren P1 cost around £866,000 – more with options added. Safe to say, the Lanzante P1 Spyder will cost a fair bit more.


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