McLaren announces new MP4-12C Spider

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Last month, McLaren Automotive announced a series of 2013 model year updates for its sole road car, the MP4-12C. Now the sports car company's headline is even bigger in that a convertible body style will soon join the two-door coupe.

McLaren's new MP4-12C Spider is the British automaker's first convertible road car and is essentially an MP4-12C without a fixed roof. Instead, it utilizes a Retractable Hard Top (RHT) similar to its main rival, the Ferrari 458 Spider. The 12C Spider's RHT takes less than 17 seconds to raise or lower and can be operated at speeds of up to 30 km/h.

What may come as a surprise is that McLaren originally designed the 12C as a convertible, so the 12C Spider is the full realization of the company's current supercar. In comparison to the fixed-roof 12C, the 12C spider weighs 40 kg more due to the addition of its convertible roof system. Like the 12C, the 12C Spider uses a 75 kg 'MonoCell' carbon chassis, and no additional strengthening measures are required for the chassis' use in the convertible.

"While the 12C is the technological essence of a race car, the 12C Spider incorporates an additional dimension," commented Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director. "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."

As Sheriff mentioned, the 12C Spider is powered by a twin turbocharged V8 engine; the same engine featured in the updated 2013 12C. With 3.8 litres of displacement, the 12C Spider's engine liberates 616 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque from its position behind the driver and passenger seats. The engine comes mated to a seven-speed SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) dual-clutch transmission operated via paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. Like the 12C, the 12C Spider accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds.

In addition to the impressive mechanical specification, the new 12C Spider also features Brake Steer to reduce understeer as well as a ProActive Chassis Control adjustable suspension. McLaren's new convertible also comes equipped with a rear-mounted McLaren Airbrake. The deployable spoiler provides rear downforce in its un-deployed position, and also helps to shorten the vehicle's stopping distance when raised.

In Canada, the 12C Spider is available at a base MSRP of $287,200, and the first deliveries to customers are expected to take place in late December or early January.

"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," added Sheriff. "I can't wait to see it on road and track with customers later this year."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Roadster, McLaren, 2013, MP4-12C Spider, $99,999+, Supercar,

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