McLaren has delivered a convertible sibling for its MP4-12C supercar. Aside from a unique retractable hard top (RHT) folding roof that can be operated at speeds of up to 30 km/h (19 mph), the new 12C Spider is pretty much identical to the 12C, with the same carbon “MonoCell” chassis and upgraded 616 bhp (625 PS) engine announced for the MP4-12C last month.
The addition of the convertible roof system adds an extra 40 kg (88 lb) to the weight of the 12C, but the performance of the 12C Spider is close to that of the 12C. Both models boast a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 3.1 seconds, but the 12C Spider goes from 0-100 mph (161 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds slower than the 12C, while its 0-124 mph (200 km/h) time of 9 seconds is 0.2 seconds slower than the 12C’s 8.8 second time.
The 12C Spider will do a quarter mile (440 m) in 10.8 seconds, just 0.2 seconds off the pace of the hard top. Both models share the same fuel efficiency figure of 24.2 EU mpg (11.7 liters/100 km) and the same CO2 emissions of 279 g/km.
The 12C Spider’s RHT is operated via a switch in the lower section of the center console and takes under 17 seconds to raise or lower, with the roof acting as a wind deflector when lowered. But you'll have to decide on whether extra luggage space or preserving your hairdo is more important as raising the roof provides an extra 52 liters (13.7 US gal) of storage space under the tonneau. McLaren supplies bespoke luggage specifically designed to fit this space as standard. The rear windscreen behind the driver and passenger can also be electronically raised or lowered.
With the 12C originally designed as a convertible, the 12C Spider’s “MonoCell” chassis doesn’t require any additional strengthening and the car includes a passive Roll Over Protection System that sees each buttress containing a steel structure to absorb impact energy and protect the driver and passenger in the event of an accident.
Launching in Volcanic Red, McLaren will offer the same the 12C in the same 17 exterior paint finishes currently available for the 12C. A new Volcanic Yellow and new interior trim will also be offered for the 2013 models of both cars, as will a new Vehicle Lift option that improves the ground clearance by raising the 12C Spider up to 40 mm (1.5 in) at the front and 25 mm (0.9 in) at the rear at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph).
McLaren is taking orders for the 12C Spider now with first deliveries expected in November 2012. It is priced at US$265,750.