As the centrepiece to the new Lanzante show stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lanzante has pulled the covers off its latest bespoke commission. The ultra-exclusive open-top P1 Spider.
When launched, nearly 10 years ago, the P1 was the first of the new breed of groudbreaking hypercars. With a shrink-wrapped design and hybrid powertrain, it rewrote the rule book, delivering blistering performance and lap records on every continent. The new P1 Spider retains all the drama and visceral excitement served up by the coupe, from which is converted, but now with the added engagement only offered by open-top driving.
To ensure the removal of the roof was handled sympathetically and none of the visual drama of the coupe was lost, Lanzante turned to the man who knows every line and angle of the car better than anyone; Paul Howse. Paul was responsible for the design of the original coupe, and he has worked closely with the Lanzante team to keep the design of the new commission as close to the iconic original as possible.
“The original concept was one of organic fluidity, layering, and of a beautiful skin wrapped over the technical carbon components. A visual story of the airflow,” explains Paul. “With the P1 Spider, we wanted to continue and accentuate this theme. 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. 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.”
The removal of the roof section, with the central ‘snorkel’ air intake and glass roof panels, has been an engineering challenge to the team. It has seen subtle changes made to the front wings, doors, and rear ‘clamshell’ engine cover. The new flowing lines now see the carbon fibre chassis blend with the new aerodynamic buttresses which incorporate newly positioned air intakes, feeding air directly into the turbochargers. Beyond this, the lower section of the chassis has been reengineered to ensure no loss in structural rigidity, despite the lack of roof.
With the cabin now opened to the elements, Lanzante has updated the interior of the P1 Spider, offering occupants increased levels of luxury with newly upholstered seats. Should the driver be caught out while the removable roof cover is removed, the use of leather and durable SuperFabric® provides resistance to weather and UV exposure. The bold interior enhancements on the showcar contrast with the satin carbon fibre finished interior and gloss black switchgear.
Commenting on the genesis of the P1 Spider programme, Dean Lanzante explained: “We were approached by a P1 owner at the start of the year who was looking at the ideas of how to make his car even more engaging, and he was keen to explore the option of a Spider variant. We had looked at the idea before, but the basic architecture of the chassis with the integrated roof structure made it seem like it was not possible. After close discussions with our engineers, we felt we had some possible ways to make it work, but it needed to be designed in a way that it wouldn’t lose anything when compared to the coupe.
“Getting Paul onboard to conceptualise an idea was the catalyst to the project. Knowing the car as intricately and in detail as he does, he knew the limitation we were working with, but when we saw what he came up with – which is more or less what is here on display today – we knew we had to do it.”
Performance figures and technical details for the P1 Spider are carried over from the coupe as it retains the familiar 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 hybrid powertrain developing 903bhp. The RaceActive Chassis Control also remains, offering dynamic handling and transmission modes, as well as the all-out track focused ‘Race’ mode.
This latest commission by Lanzante follows in the tyre treads of previous derivatives of the P1 which have been showcased at the Goodwood event. The bar was set in 2016 with the record- breaking hill run with the Lanzante-developed P1 LM, before the luxurious P1 GT in 2018 and P1 GTR-18 in 2020. Last year then saw the unveil of the P1 HDK, complete with revised aerodynamics and Cosworth-enhanced 4.0-litre engine.
Lanzante has confirmed production of the P1 Spider will be strictly limited to no more than five examples. Each of the bespoke commissions will be built from a suitable donor car, and the first customer delivery is expected before the end of the year.