As is the norm in the world of supercars, McLaren has dropped the top on the MP4-12C with the Spider variant. But unlike most convertibles, the MP4-12C has retained most of the speed and rigidity of its hardtop counterpart.
Thanks to the carbon fibre ‘MonoCell’ chassis used in the car, McLaren claims that no additional structural strengthening was required to remove the roof. The Retractable Hard Top system has, however, added 40 kilograms of weight, but even so the car remains nearly as quick as the coupe. 0 to 62 mph, in fact, is dealt with in the exact same time of 3.1 seconds, while 0 to 100 mph is just 0.1 seconds slower than the coupe. The top speed is also very similar, just 3 mph behind, and fuel economy has remained identical.
The Retractable Hard Top that McLaren has fitted can be raised or lowered in 17 seconds, at speeds up to 19 mph. A rear windscreen has also been fitted behind the passenger compartment to minimize wind disturbance. Moreover, the car is equipped with a Roll Over Protection System, made up of steel buttresses designed to absorb impact in the event of a rollover.
If you’re fortunate enough to afford such a thing, orders are now being taken, with deliveries set to begin in November. But even if you can’t afford the Spider, feel free to dream with the online configurator here.
McLAREN FORMULA 1 DNA MEETS THE THRILL OF OPEN TOP DRIVING IN THE NEW 12C SPIDER
Jul 3, 2012
- Unique Retractable Hard Top (RHT) of new 12C Spider may be operated at speeds up to 30kph (19mph)
- Shared Formula 1 technology DNA in 12C and 12C Spider means performance is similarly impressive for both derivatives
- McLaren 12C Spider configurator launched online at: www.configure.mclaren.com
- 12C Spider now available to order through 38 McLaren retailers in 22 countries worldwide
McLaren Automotive today announces the launch of its second model in the MP4-12C family: the stunning new 12C Spider. With a lightweight, high powered engine developing an incredible 625 PS (616 bhp), unique RHT folding roof system that may be operated while on the move, and carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis identical to that of the groundbreaking 12C, the 12C Spider is a luxury convertible sports car that offers prospective owners a unique combination of spectacular performance with remarkable usability.
The new 12C Spider is now available to order from bespoke new McLaren retailers across the globe. First deliveries to customers are planned for November this year.
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 12C Spider’s impressive 625 PS output from its bespoke 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine is transmitted to the car’s rear driven wheels through a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, which itself provides lightning-fast gear changes through rocker-mounted shift paddles affixed to the rear of the steering wheel. A clear view of the 12C Spider’s lightweight M838T power plant is available through a glass screen positioned behind the tonneau cover.
Vehicle dynamics technology including Brake Steer, ProActive Chassis Control and the unique McLaren Airbrake combine to offer sublime comfort in all driving conditions; and yet deliver race car performance and handling on track. An overview of 12C Spider performance compared with the 12C is below:
(625 PS/616 bhp)
(625 PS/616 bhp)
0-62 mph (0-100 kph) 3.1 sec 3.1 sec 0-100mph (0-161kph) 6.1 6.0 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) CO2 g/km 279 279
* when specified with PZero Corsa tyres
Technical specification highlights
McLaren is a carbon pioneer. In 1981 McLaren gave a debut to a carbon fibre monocoque chassis in Formula 1 with the launch of the MP4/1 race car, and in 1992 the legendary McLaren F1 introduced the advanced composite technology to the world of road cars. It was natural then for McLaren Automotive engineers to apply its carbon expertise when developing the groundbreaking one-piece moulded chassis of the 12C. With the 12C designed originally as a convertible, its 75kg ‘MonoCell’ requires no additional strengthening for it to feature in the 12C Spider. The result is a sports car almost identical to its fixed roof equivalent in performance terms, and weighing only 40kg more with the addition of a convertible roof system.
The Retractable Hard Top of the 12C Spider is operated using a switch in the lower section of the centre console inside the cabin, taking less than 17 seconds to raise or lower. Unlike many other convertible models, the roof can be operated whilst the 12C Spider is moving at speeds of up to 30 kph (19mph).
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 12C Spider’s occupants. With the roof raised the rear window can be lowered, allowing the exhilarating noise of the 12C Spider’s V8 twin turbo engine to flood the cabin on demand at any time.
With the roof raised the area under the tonneau can be used as an additional luggage area which provides 52 litres of useful storage space. Bespoke luggage has been designed specifically to fit this space and is supplied as standard with every 12C Spider.
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.
Creating one in a million: 12C Spider personalisation highlights
Launched in Volcano Red – one of 17 exterior paint finishes currently available for the 12C and 12C Spider- both 12C derivatives will also be available in optional Volcano Yellow, a striking new high quality paint which features in the ‘Elite’ range of exterior finishes.
Inside, an exclusive new interior trim has been developed for the 2013 model year 12C and new 12C Spider. High quality semi-aniline perforated leather and Alcantara may be selected in a variety of combinations to suit an owner’s personal taste.
A new wheel design, and ‘Diamond Cut’ finishes for existing lightweight and super lightweight forged wheel designs may be selected for the 12C Spider. Standard Silver or Stealth finishes are offered for all wheel designs.
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 60kph (37mph).
Prospective customers and sports car fans alike are encouraged to visit the new 12C Spider online configurator, and discover a range of exciting options that may be specified in literally millions of unique combinations. The 12C Spider configurator is now live at: www.configure.mclaren.com
The McLaren 12C Spider is now available to order at all of McLaren’s 38 retailers in 22 countries worldwide, with deliveries to first customers planned for November 2012.