Well, the new MP4-12C variant has been revealed, and it’s fabulous. Actually the car’s real appellation is just 12C Spider and that’s a good thing. It’s not ideal to have anything as emotive as this – a quality shared by nearly all drop-tops – to sound like a parts number.
It basically has the same ingredients as the car it is based on, including the carbon monocell chassis, but the roof is where the headline grabs attention. The Retractable Hard Top (RHT) of the 12C Spider is operated using a switch located at the centre console; pushing it will raise or lower the roof in less than 17 seconds – in which time, if accelerating from standstill the McLaren will probably be way above 200kmh. For this, the roof will only operate at speeds of up to 30kmh. A neat trick is that the Spider’s rear windscreen also acts as the wind deflector and it can be lowered or raised remotely and independent of the roof. This allows for the car’s occupants to enjoy a less turbulent in-car environment when the roof is down, yet enjoying the full concerto effect from the mid-located twin turbo V8 (when rear glass is down) even when the top’s up.
Another benefit of raising the roof is getting additional luggage area underneath the tonneau by 52 litres. Typical of McLaren-type of details, this amount is possible with the bespoke company luggage which are designed to fit into that space. And it is supplied as standard with every car purchase, thankfully. It’s easy to forget that the original MP4-12C was designed to be a convertible, and as such the 75kg monocell needed no extra strengthening for the Spider. But with the folding roof motor and ancillary parts needed, the new variant still weighs 40kg more than the original car. The 12C Spider also features a passive Roll Over Protection System to maximise occupant safety. Each buttress contains a steel structure designed to absorb impact energy and protect both driver and passenger. McLaren is now taking orders of the new 12C Spider and deliveries are planned for November this year.
Antony Sheriff, the Managing Director of McLaren Automotive said:
“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.”
Vehicle Lift will be available as an option on 2013 model year vehicles. The system allows the 12C Spider to be raised front and rear for improved ground clearance. This technology permits the vehicle to be raised by up to 40mm at the front and 25mm at the rear of the 12C Spider, and may remain in position at up to 60kmh. Finally, customers also get to personalise their McLarens at McLaren’s website.
|MP4-12C Spider*(616bhp)||MP4-12C *(616 bhp)|
|0-62 mph (0-100 kph)||3.1 sec||3.1 sec|
|0-124 mph (0-200 kph)||9.0 sec||8.8 sec|
|¼ mile (400m)||10.8 sec @ 134 mph (216 kph)||10.6 sec @ 136 mph (219 kph)|
|V Max||204 mph (329 kph)||207 mph (333 kph)|
|Fuel efficiency, EU MPG (litres/100km)||24.2 (11.7)||24.2 (11.7)|
* when specified with PZero Corsa tyres
McLaren MP4-12C Spider technical specification
|Drivetrain layout||Longitudinal mid-engine, RWD|
|Engine configuration||V8 twin turbo|
|Valvetrain||32-valve, DOHC, dual VVT|
|Engine displacement (cc)||3799|
|bhp / rpm||616 / 7500|
|Torque Nm / rpm||600 / 3000-7000|
|Transmission||7 Speed SSG|
|Body structure||Carbon fibre MonoCell with aluminium front and rear frames|
|Dry weight (kg)||1376|
|Dry weight with lightweight options (kg)||1341|
|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)|
|Tyres (F / R)||Pirelli PZero 235/35 R19 / 305/30 R20|