The MP4-12C has finally lost its top as McLaren Automotive presented the second addition to the family in the guise of the new Spider model that comes equipped with a retractable hard top, much like one of its chief rivals in the mid-engine supercar segment, the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider.
The metal roof is operated using a switch in the lower section of the centre console and takes less than 17 seconds to raise or lower. McLaren points out that unlike many other convertible models of its kind, the Spider’s roof can be operated whilst the car is moving at speeds of up to 30 km/h (19mph).
Right behind the passenger compartment is a rear windscreen that can double as a wind deflector and which may also be electronically lowered and raised. To improve safety, a roll over protection system has been incorporated into the rear buttresses.
McLaren has managed to squeeze 52 litres of additional storage space under the tonneau cover that can be used when the roof is raised. The company supplies a bespoke luggage set that fits in this area as standard with the 12C Spider.
The British sports car maker says that since it the 12C was designed as a convertible from the get go, its 75kg (165 pounds) ‘MonoCell’ required no additional strengthening with the Spider weighing only 40kg (88 pounds) more than the coupe after the addition of the retractable roof system.
“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,” said Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director. “I can’t wait to see it on road and track with customers later this year.”
The 12C Spider incorporates all the changes announced for the 2013MY MP4-12C coupe including the tweaked 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine that delivers 616hp (625PS) at 7,500rpm and 600Nm (442 lb-ft) of peak torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm, and which can be seen through a glass screen positioned behind the tonneau cover.
A 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission with rocker-mounted shift paddles attached to the steering drives the rear wheels.
According to McLaren, the 12C Spider matches the coupe’s 0-100km/h (62mph) acceleration time at 3.1 seconds but is 0.2 seconds slower at the 0-200km/h (124mph) sprint at 9.0 seconds and 0.2 seconds slower in the quarter mile at 10.8 seconds.
Its 329km/h (204mph) top speed is 4km/h (~3mph) lower than that of the coupe.
The new 12C Spider is available to order now at all of McLaren’s 38 retailers in 22 countries worldwide, with first deliveries to customers scheduled for November this year.
In the UK, the open-top model is priced at £195,500, which represents a £19,500 premium over the 2013MY MP4-12C coupe.