Summer’s well and truly here. And what better way for a millionaire to celebrate than drop the top on his new McLaren MP4-12C. Trouble is that until today they would’ve need an angle grinder to do just that. Well put the power tools down Mr Monopoly because today McLaren have unveiled the convertible version of the MP4-12C. It’s called the 12C Spider and aside from the folding hardtop roof the cars are identical.
The McLaren 12C Spider uses the same carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis as the MP4-12C, with literally no modifications as the chassis is so stiff it doesn’t require any extra strengthening despite the lack of a roof. The only concession for a convertible roof is a slight 40kg (88 lb) weight increase. Performance is only marginally affected too. Zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes the same 3.1 seconds as the fixed-roof car, however the 0-124 mph (0-200km/h) time is 0.2 seconds slower at 9.0 seconds, and the top speed is fractionally less at 204 mph (329 km/h).
Power comes from a mid-mounted 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine, which for the 2013 model year produces 616 horsepower in both the 12C Spider and the MP4-12C coupe. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission with steering wheel mounted paddles.
The folding roof of the McLaren 12C Spider can be operated at speeds up to 19 mph (30 km/h). It takes 17 seconds to raise or lower. The roof is operated using a switch in the lower section of the centre console inside the cabin. Behind driver and passenger sits a rear windscreen which may also be electronically lowered and raised. With the roof lowered this acts as wind deflector to minimise disturbance to the occupants. With the roof raised the rear window can be lowered, allowing the V8 engine’s roar to be heard without rustling anyone’s hair-piece.
With the roof raised the vacant area underneath can be used as an additional luggage area which provides 52 litres of useful storage space. The car comes as standard with bespoke luggage that has been designed specifically to fit this space.
Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director said: “I am really excited to announce that the new 12C Spider is now available to order at new McLaren retailers worldwide. The launch of our second model is an exciting milestone in the growth of our company.
“While the 12C is the technological essence of a race car, the 12C Spider incorporates an additional dimension. 12C Spider owners will love the opportunity to lower the roof and hear the unhindered howl of a V8 twin turbo engine at full throttle. It undoubtedly enhances an already euphoric 12C driving experience.
“The 12C Spider delivers all the thrills characteristic of a high performance roadster, and yet transforms into a raucous track beast at the flick of a switch. I can’t wait to see it on road and track with customers later this year.”
The McLaren 12C Spider is available to order from today in 22 countries across the world.
McLaren 12C Spider Specifications:
Drivetrain layout Longitudinal mid-engine, RWD
Engine configuration V8 twin turbo
Engine material Aluminium block and cylinder heads
Oiling Dry sump
Compression ratio 8.7:1
Valvetrain 32-valve, DOHC, dual VVT
Redline ( rpm) 8,500
Bore x Stroke (mm) 93 x 69.9
Engine displacement (cc) 3799
PS / rpm 625 / 7500
Torque Nm / rpm 600 / 3000-7000
PS per litre 164
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
Body structure Carbon fibre MonoCell with aluminum front and rear frames
Wheelbase (mm) 2670
Track, F/R (mm) 1656 / 1583
Length (mm) 4509
Width (mm) @ widest point 2093
Height (mm) 1203
DIN weight (kg / lbs) 1474 / 3249
Dry weight (kg / lbs) 1376 / 3033
Dry weight with lightweight options (kg / lbs) 1341 / 2956
Weight distribution at DIN F / R % 42 / 58
Active aerodynamics McLaren Airbrake
Suspension ProActive Chassis Control
ProActive Chassis Control modes Winter / Normal / Sport / Track
Powertrain modes Winter / Normal / Sport / Track
Brakes Cast iron discs with forged aluminum hubs (F 370mm / R 350 mm)
Wheel sizes (F / R) 19” x 8.5”J / 20” x 11” J
Tires (F / R) Pirelli PZero 235/35 R19 / 305/30 R20