As anticipated, the Spider has a retractable hard top (RHT), with a folding roof system that can be used on the move (at speeds up to 30km/h), and a carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis identical to that of the coupé. Because the 12C was originally designed as a convertible, no additional chassis strengthening is needed in the Spider, hence the open-top version weighs only 40kg more than its coupé sibling. The low weight, coupled with the 625PS (616bhp) 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – clearly visible through a glass screen behind the tonneau cover – and F1-derived technology that the Spider also shares with the 12C, means that performance is similarly outstanding in both derivatives.
The 0-62mph sprint is despatched in an identical 3.1 seconds, with 0-100mph in 6.1 seconds (against the 12C’s 6.0 seconds), while top speed is just 3mph adrift of the coupé, at 204mph. Fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions are the same for both models, at 24.2mpg and 279g/km.
The Spider’s roof, or RHT, can be lowered in less than 17 seconds via a switch in the lower section of the cabin’s centre console. The rear windscreen behind driver and passenger can also be electronically lowered and raised, independently of the roof. When the roof is down, the rear screen acts as wind deflector, but when the roof is raised, the occupants might choose to lower the screen to better hear the ‘exhilarating noise’ of that V8 twin-turbo.
Roof up, there’s a 52-litre luggage space area under the tonneau, for which bespoke luggage has been designed and is supplied as standard with every 12C Spider.
The convertible will be launched in Volcano Red – one of 17 exterior paint finishes available for both 12C and 12C Spider. The interior trim has been developed for the 2013 model year 12C and new 12C Spider, and features semi-aniline perforated leather and Alcantara in a variety of combinations to suit an owner’s personal taste.
The new 12C Spider is now available to order from McLaren retailers around the world, with first deliveries planned for November. UK prices start at £195,500.
Photos: McLaren Automotive