MP4-12C Spider Pops its Top


The 2013 McLaren 12C Spider has officially made its debut.

When McLaren Automotive launched a year ago with the MP4-12C coupe, enthusiasts of high-performance supercars knew it was only a matter of time until the boys from Woking would chop off its top and create a roadster. Following the teaser that came on Friday, that time has finally come with the full presentation of the new 12C Spider. The race-bred roadster packs the same 616-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 as the coupe on which it's based, but with one vital difference: a three-piece retractable hard-top that lets its exhaust note in.

To transform the 12C, McLaren contracted Webasto - the same German outfit that crucially tiled the trick roof on the McLaren's target: the Ferrari 458 Spider. The result is the thrill of open-air driving, the security of a hard roof and a negligible effect on performance. 0-62 time is quoted at 3.1 seconds (the same as the coupe), with just one fraction of a second penalty to 100 mph (6.1 versus 6 seconds) and two tenths on the quarter mile (10.8 vs 10.6 seconds). The three-piece hard-top closes in just 17 seconds and, unlike the Ferrari's, doesn't obstruct the view to the engine bay even when the top is down.

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The roof can also be raised or lowered while moving at up to 19 mph. The 12C Spider can hit 196 mph with the roof down and 204 mph with it up. Don't expect that ideal to come cheap, though: pricing in the UK for the Spider comes in at £195,500 - £19,500 more than the fixed-roof version. 38 McLaren dealers in 22 countries worldwide are taking orders now for delivery beginning in November.