McLaren MP4-12C Spider - top down at sunset, front three-quarter view

There are certain elements the world can always use more of. Chief among those is, of course, beer, although convertible supercars capable of cresting 200 mph certainly make our list as well. Fortunately, McLaren has scratched that itch with its brand-new MP4-12C Spider. Like its hardtop cousin, the machine can climb to 62 mph from a stand still in just 3.1 seconds, though the drophead boasts a slightly lower top end of 204 mph compared to the 207 mph of the coupe. Power still comes from a 616-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.

McLaren has opted for a retractable hard top, which the company says takes around 17 seconds to put up or down. The MP4-12C Spider also treats occupants to a power wind deflector that can be raised or lowered behind the seats. If you like what you see, get ready to pony up $265,750 for the pleasure of ownership. Check out the press release below for more information or head over to the McLaren site to configure your own.
Related GalleryMcLaren MP4-12C Spider
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McLAREN FORMULA 1 DNA MEETS THE THRILL OF OPEN TOP DRIVING IN THE NEW 12C SPIDER

03/07/12

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 will be priced from £195,500 in the UK and 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."

Best-in-class performance

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.

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.