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Friday
Jul132012

McLaren MP4-12C Spider Drops Top, Bares All

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Those folks lucky enough to live in one of the 22 countries that are home to McLaren Automotive’s 38 dealers will want to get their order for the MP4-12C Spider in early. Not only will it take extra long to write out the clumsy name in full, first deliveries are expected this November; prime convertible driving weather in Australia or wherever the winter home is located. Thankfully, McLaren didn’t use the even more clumsy “PRHT” nomenclature used by Mazda’s Miata to denote its Power Retractable Hard Top, but it did retain the MonoCell carbon fiber monocoque and twin-turbo powertrain from the coupe. Both were designed with the drop top in mind.

The MonoCell tub is molded in one piece, and weighs 165 lb (75 kg). Most of the 88 lb (40 kg) weight difference between the Coupe and Spider comes from the addition of the retractable hard top. Operated via a switch located on the lower portion of the center console, the top takes less than 17 seconds to fold or deploy, and can be operated while the car is moving at speeds up to 19 mph; just enough for those quick downpours while cruising the Cote d’Azur. The Spider is fitted with an electrically powered wind deflector/rear window between the buttresses to minimize air turbulence in the cockpit. (The buttresses contain steel roll-over structures to protect driver and passenger should driving talent run out before the money does, and the MP4-12C Spider ends up on its roof.) This deflector also can be lowered when the top is up to improve cockpit ventilation, or to let the sound of the 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 into the cabin.

Of course, McLaren has also seen fit to provide bespoke luggage that fits under the tonneau when the top is up. This increases the Spider’s carrying capacity by 1.84 cu. ft. This is more than enough for a Speedo and a shaving kit, but not enough for a roll-on bag. Still, this space is only available for use when the top is up, making the Spider something of a compromise when needing max capacity. On the other hand, the front cargo area remains unmodified, and is more than capable of carrying a few soft bags.

Though the Spider is being launched in Volcano Red, it and its coupe sibling are available in 16 other colors. A new hue, Volcano Yellow, is available as an option, part of McLaren’s “Elite” range of exterior colors. In addition, new interior trim was developed for the 2013 model MP4-12Cs. These include a semi-aniline perforated leather coupled with Alcantara, which may be ordered in a variety of combinations.

For the 2013 model year, McLaren is offering a new wheel design, as well as “Diamond Cut” finishes for its existing lightweight and super lightweight forged road wheels. Silver and “Stealth” finishes are carried over as the standard wheel finishes. In addition, McLaren is adding Vehicle Lift as an option for 2013 models. It lets the front end be raised up to 1.6-in. and the rear up to 1.0-in., and remain in this position at speeds as high as 37 mph. This should be enough to let the car traverse all but the most obnoxious speed bumps. For a complete list of options, visit the 12C Spider configurator.

 

 

MP4-12C Spider*
(616 bhp)

MP4-12C *
(616 bhp)

0-62 mph

3.1 sec

3.1 sec

0-100mph

6.1

6.0

0-124 mph

9.0 sec

8.8 sec

¼ mile

10.8 sec @ 134 mph

10.6 sec @ 136 mph

V Max

204 mph

207 mph

Fuel efficiency, US MPG

20.1

20.1

CO2 g/km

279

27

* when specified with Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

McLaren MP4-12C Spider technical specification

Drivetrain layout

Longitudinal mid-engine, RWD

Engine configuration

V8 twin turbo

Engine material

Aluminum block and cylinder heads

Oiling

Dry sump

Compression ratio

8.7:1

Valvetrain

32-valve, DOHC, dual VVT

Redline ( rpm)

8,500

Bore x Stroke (mm)

93 x 69.9

Engine displacement (cc)

3799

Hp / rpm

616/7500

Torque Lb-ft/rpm

443/3000-7000

Hp per liter

162

Transmission

7 Speed SSG

Body structure

Carbon fiber MonoCell with aluminum front and rear frames

Wheelbase (mm/in)

2670/105.1

Track, F/R (mm/in)

1656/1583 / 65.2 / 62.3

Length (mm/in)

4509/177.5

Width (mm/in)  @ widest point

2093/82.4

Height (mm/in)

1203/47.4

DIN weight (kg/lbs)

1474/3249

Dry weight (kg/lbs)

1376/3033

Dry weight with lightweight options (kg/lbs)

1341/2956

Weight distribution at DIN F/R %

42/58

Active aerodynamics

McLaren Airbrake

Suspension

ProActive Chassis Control

ProActive Chassis Control modes

Winter / Normal / Sport / Track

Powertrain modes

Winter / Normal / Sport / Track

Brakes

Cast iron discs with forged aluminum hubs
(F  370mm / R 350 mm)

Wheel sizes (F/R)

19” x 8.5”J / 20” x 11” J

Tyres (F/R)

Pirelli PZero 235/35R-19 / 305/30R-20

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