McLaren MP4-12C Spider Unveiled

The McLaren MP4-12C has gone topless. Known as the Spider, or McLaren MP4-12C Spider, to give it its full name, it is equipped with a metal roof that takes less than 17 seconds to raise or lower.

McLaren points out that unlike many other tin top convertible models, the Spider’s roof can be operated whilst the car is in motion at speeds of up to 30km/h (19mph).

The car’s rear windscreen also double as a wind deflector and can be electronically lowered and raised. Like all convertibles, a roll over protection system has been incorporated into the rear buttresses to improve safety.

According to the British sports car maker, the 12C was designed as a convertible from the start; its 75kg (165 pounds) ‘MonoCell’ chassis required no further strengthening. The result is the Spider weighs only 40kg (88 pounds) more than the coupé after the addition of the retractable roof system.

Other than a different top, the 12C Spider shares the coupé’s tweaked 3.8-litre V8 twin turbocharged engine updated for MY2013. It delivers 616hp (625PS/460kW) at 7,500rpm and 600Nm (442 lb-ft) of peak torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm.

The engine sends drive to the rear wheels via a 7-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission with rocker-mounted shift paddles attached to the steering wheel.

McLaren said the 12C Spider shares the Coupé 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.1 seconds but is 0.2 seconds slower in the 0-200km/h dash at 9.0 seconds and 0.2 seconds slower in the quarter mile at 10.8 seconds. Top speed in the Spider is also slightly lower at 329km/h (204mph) compared to 333km/h in the coupé.

Customers’ orders are now taken across all of McLaren’s 38 retailers in 22 countries worldwide, with first deliveries to start in November this year.

The 12C Spider cost £195,500 in the UK, which represents a £19,500 premium over the 2013MY MP4-12C coupe.

McLaren MP4-12C Spider* McLaren MP4-12C Coupé*
0-100km/h (0-62mph)3.1 sec3.1 sec
0-161km/h (0-100mph)6.1 sec6.0 sec
0-200km/h (0-124mph)9.0 sec8.8 sec
¼ mile (400m)10.8 sec @ 216km/h (134mph)10.6 sec @ 219km/h (136mph)
V Max329 km/h (204mph)333km/h (207mph)
Fuel efficiency, EU MPG (litres/100km)24.2 (11.7)24.2 (11.7)
CO2 g/km279279
*when specified with PZero Corsa tyres

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