The long awaited convertible version of the McLaren MP4 12C has now been revealed to the public. The McLaren MP4 12C Spider features a two-piece folding hardtop which sits on top of a pair of flying buttresses. It’s impossible not to make comparisons with the Ferrari 458 Spider which has very similar styling although a one-piece roof. The McLaren’s roof can lower in 17 seconds and can be operated at up to 19 mph should you get stuck at the lights with the roof still opening.
The McLaren Spider loses nothing from the coupe with the same 625 horsepower 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 and only increases the weight by 40kg. That keeps it a shade under the weight of a 458 Coupe. The result is a drop-top that performs (almost) as well as the hard-top with the same 3.1 second time for a 0-62 mph sprint and just 9.9 seconds for the race to 100 mph compared to 8.8 seconds with the coupe. A quarter mile is reached in 10.8 seconds (up 2 tenths from the coupe), the top speed drops by 3 mph to 204 mph and the fuel consumption is unchanged at 24.2 mpg. The only sting is 10% increase in the retail price now at £195,000 GBP.
The thrills will be magnified by the open roof and with the neat folding hardtop, and stunning looks it is hard to imagine many buyers now opting for the McLaren MP4 12C coupe.
Although impressive, we feel that McLaren targets beating the Ferrari 458 with such detail that their Spider lacks personality of its own. You can’t argue that it isn’t a hugely capable and exciting car but it doesn’t really add anything new to the world. The Ferrari 458 was ground-braking whereas the McLaren Spider seems to be the same but a little bit better. Of course this is just a first impression, we’ll hold full judgement until it has proved itself on the road.