Wednesday, 19 December 2018 - About Torquingpoint | Advertise | Rss

McLaren unveils the MP4-12C Spider

Taking the fight directly to Ferrari’s 458 Spider…

McLaren Automotive has today pulled the wraps off their second model variant – the MP4-12C Spider.

Featuring a folding hard top roof much like its Ferrari 458 Spider rival, the MP4-12C Spider promises a driving experience just like that of the coupe, with no loss in structural rigidity thanks to the car’s carbon fibre tub and only a 40kg weight penalty over the coupe. The Monocell required no extra bracing for the Spider model.

The new folding roof, known as the Retractable Hard Top (RHT) features 3 carbon fibre panels that fold and stow away between the cabin and the engine, leaving behind two buttresses, again very much like the 458 Spider’s design. One area in which the MP4-12C Spider beats the 458 though, is that it retains a glass engine cover so you can still see the engine, albeit in a smaller version – the 458 lost this capability.

The roof takes 17 seconds to lower and can be operated at speeds up to 19 mph, while there is a glass window that can be raised or lowered between the buttresses with the roof up or down.

The new model incorporates all the recently announced updates for the MP4-12C coupe, which includes an upgraded powerplant with 616 bhp, an upgraded 7-speed SSG dual clutch gearbox with revised gearshift timings and a vehicle lift system which lifts the nose by 40mm and the rear 25mm at the push of a button to help clear speed bumps and such like.

There are also a series of revisions to the rest of the car due to customer feedback, such as the IRIS satnav system finally being released and a button being installed for opening the doors, along with a new design of lightweight wheel.

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 MP4-12C Spider Configurator is now also live on the McLaren website where you can play around with specifying your perfect car.

The MP4-12C Spider will be priced at £195,500 and is available to order now through McLaren dealers worldwide.

 Images courtesy of McLaren Automotive

Share this article

About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more