A decade after McLaren unveiled it to the world in concept form at the Paris Motor Show, there’s a new chapter to the McLaren P1 story, the P1 Spider by Lanzante. Yes, you read that right, it’s a roofless P1, with the same monster hybrid powertrain and hypercar performance as before.

Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider

Lanzante has brought some pretty special P1s to the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard over the years; we’ve seen the P1 GT, P1 HDK and the record-breaking P1 LM. This is a little different, as where those cars have been about pace, the P1 Spider offers up the same incredible performance but with the thrill of open-air driving.

Why a Spider? Quite simply because a customer wanted one. A friend of Lanzante approached the company with the idea and some basic design sketches, which Lanzante then worked on with one of the designers of the original coupe model, Paul Howse, to see what was possible.

Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider
Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider
Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider

First things first, the roof. The model you see on Lanzante’s new stand was a standard P1 road car, and following careful consultation between the designer and engineering team, CAD data began to turn the project into reality. The glass roof panels were removed, as was the upper roof structure from the carbon chassis, including the central air intake. This vital source of air has now been reengineered by the Lanzante team, with two flowing buttresses above the driver and passenger featuring intakes to feed air directly to the turbochargers.

Despite the revisions made to the roof, the carbon chassis remains central to the P1 Spider. Some minor re-engineering has been carried out to ensure the P1’s strength and rigidity is maintained, although the additional support wasn’t strictly needed as the P1’s carbon-fibre tub is not to dissimilar to those of the 12C and 650S, both of which were sold as Spiders. However, Lanzante wanted to be as thorough as possible and make sure there was no penalty for the P1 sans-roof.

Other engineering amendments have seen the door hinges relocated and the front fenders slightly revised, while the engine cover is now more open to show off that glorious engine. It is worth noting that the team has developed a removable roof system, which is foldable and can be stowed away in the vehicle, ready to be put back on should you be caught in a rain shower.

Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider
Lanzante P1 Spider makes world debut FOS, Festival of Speed, 2022, FOS 2022, Lanzante, P1 Spider

As for the finish? Well it’s quite something. The silver exterior paint is a real contrast to the sumptuous orange interior, fitted with every carbon accessory it was possible for a P1 to have. All of the soft interior materials, meanwhile, are weather and UV resistant, known as ‘technical fabrics’, so if you are caught out in a shower but don’t want to put the roof on, when you’re home you can just wipe away any water.

Everything else about the car is as it was in the donor P1, so there’s the same 3.8-litre, twin-turbo hybridised V8 engine, the same seven-speed double-clutch gearbox and the same tyres, brakes and suspension.

The P1 was a special car with just 375 production cars ever built. The P1 Spider is even more exclusive, as Lanzante will build just five customer cars. So if you’ve always wanted a P1 but never took the plunge because you wanted the wind in your hair, this is the machine for you.

The most bonkers bit of the project? That this entire process has taken just six months, with a hard deadline of the Festival of Speed. We’re glad it made it, aren’t you?

Images courtesy of Lanzante.

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