Thankfully it didn’t take long for the official details of the new McLaren MP4-12C Spider to be revealed by the Woking-based supercar manufacturer. Thankfully too, McLaren have decided to simplify their naming convention by dropping the ‘MP4′ prefix, meaning from now on we’ll either be referring to the McLaren 12C Coupe or 12C Spider.
As we mentioned yesterday, the 12C Spider is powered by the same engine found in the 12C Coupe, which was recently given updates to increase power of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 from 441 to 460 KW. The mid-mounted V8 is one of, if not, the most compact V8 engines in production today and McLaren have ensured it’s always on display in their new 12C Spider, thanks to a transparent engine cover.
Of course the main attraction is the two-piece folding hard-top, which takes just 17 seconds to lower or raise and can be done so at speeds of up to 30 km/h. Behind each seat, and on either side of the engine cover, are two steel supports that rise from the bodywork to absorb impact in the event of a roll over. Also behind and between the seats is a small windscreen that can be lowered and raised electronically. With the roof off, this screen prevents swirl inside the cabin and, with the roof up, the screen can be lowered to allow the engine and exhaust notes to enter. With the roof tucked away there’s 52-litres of space available. Specially designed luggage fits this area exactly and is included on the 12C Spider’s list of standard equipment.
There’s no denying the 12C Spider’s outright beauty. Between it and the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, convertible supercars have never looked so good.
Sporting the same underpinnings as the 12C Coupe, McLaren’s carbon fibre monocoque chassis means that no additional measures were needed to compensate for a potential loss of chassis rigidity with the removable roof. In fact, McLaren say the Spider is almost identical to the Coupe, weighing just 40 kg more for a total of around 1 450 kg. With little difference in weight, the turbocharged V8 has little trouble rocketing the open-air 12C from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds (on par with the Coupe). Snapping through the 7-Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, the 12C Spider can reach a top speed of 329 km/h, just 4 km/h slower than its hard-top equivalent.
With a £19 500 premium over the 12C Coupe at £195 500, the new 12C Spider is available to order now through any of McLaren’s 38 dealerships around the worldwide, with the first deliveries taking place from November this year.