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If you're going to go up against the Ferrari 458, a coupe isn't going to do it alone. No, for that you'll need a convertible version, too, to steal away customers who'd otherwise be putting their names down on the wait list for the 458 Spider.

Lamborghini knows that, as it has demonstrated with successive versions of the Gallardo. Audi knows it too, as it has shown with the R8 Spyder. Aston Martin makes a DBS Volante and Porsche offers a 911 Turbo convertible. So if McLaren is going to play in this league, it's going to need a convertible version of its MP4-12C. And if it's going to outshine these soft-topped contenders and pick up market share from the 458 Spider with its innovative folding hard-top, it's going to need a similarly impressive parlor trick, too. Fortunately that's just what's coming down the pipeline.

According to the latest intel from British weekly Autocar, McLaren has been collaborating with Webasto on a new type of roof mechanism for the upcoming 12C Spyder. Now if the name Webasto sounds familiar, that's probably because it's the same German outfit that developed the apertures for the Mini, Volkswagen Eos, Volvo C70 and, most crucially, the Ferrari California and 458 Spider.

For McLaren, Webasto is said to have made a three-piece folding roof that stacks in between the seats and the engine, allowing the twin-turbo V8 to be viewed through its clear compartment cover – something the 458 cannot boast. The panels themselves will likely be crafted from carbon fiber like much of the rest of the MP4-12C, but as for the nomenclature we'll have to wait and see. The only other roadgoing convertible McLaren ever produced was the SLR Roadster, whose name was likely determine by Mercedes-Benz, not by McLaren. Other convertibles on the market take the name Spider, Spyder, Speedster, Roadster, Cabrio, Cabriolet, Drophead Coupe, Volante or simply Convertible.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love mclaren, can't wait for the new f1!
      Justin B.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Am I the only petrol head that is fascinated with folding hard tops? So many moving parts for one simple task.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It should get a folding fascia.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      HUGE mistake. They shouldn't make a stupid widgit just because all of the others are doing it. Will they jump off of the bridge next?
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ernie Mccracken
        Um, I've owned both soft and power hard top convertibles. I can tell you that for the kind of money McLaren gets for the MP4-12C, a power folding hardtop should be a requirement. IMO, they should only offer a soft top on some lightweight, semi-hardcore model, where weight savings are king... like Porsche did with the Boxster Spyder.
      Custom Bikes
      • 3 Years Ago
      For that much money it better have a trick top
      • 3 Years Ago