After months of tantalizing teases, the wraps have now come off of the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider. Open-air sibling to the MP4-12C Coupe, this second member of the McLaren Automotive lineup will make its official world debut next month during the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance before going on sale here in late December or early January.
Sharing much of the Coupe's visual and mechanical pedigree, the new MP-4-12C Spider brings its own unique dimension to the driving experience thanks to a lightweight Retractable Hard Top (RHT). Capable of being deployed at the touch of a button, this power-folding metal roof can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 18 mph in a process that requires less than 17 seconds to complete. Adding a mere 88 pounds to the curb weight, the RHT also incorporates a power wind deflector element as well as a transparent panel in the tonneau cover that offers a view of the engine.
The new Spider features a pair of fixed steel-reinforced buttresses that comprise its robust Roll Over Protection System. However, since the MP4-12C's carbon fiber MonoCell was created from the very start to accommodate this al fresco variation on the theme, no additional structural work was needed to maintain its outstanding strength and rigidity.
Like the latest version of the MP4-12C Coupe, the new Spider is fitted with mid-mounted 3.8-liter McLaren-designed twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 616 horsepower for 2013. That power gets shipped to the rear wheels though a paddle-actuated 7-speed dual-clutch sequential-shift transmission. Although both of these McLaren supercars can hit 62 mph in 3.1 seconds, the Spider's added mass does increase its 0-100 mph interval from 6.0 to 6.1 seconds and lowers its maximum velocity from 207 to 204 mph.
The new MP4-12C Spider also enjoys all of the Coupe's brilliant vehicle dynamics technology, including the automaker's street/track ProActive Chassis Control, Brake Steer, and the McLaren Airbrake system. The new Spider will offer a unique alloy wheel design, and to help minimize the potential for too-close encounters with things like speed bumps and driveway aprons, it -- and the Coupe -- will be available with an optional front/rear lift system for 2013.
Set to go on sale here in late December or early January, the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider will start at $268,250 in U.S. trim. Orders are currently being taken and can be placed through any McLaren dealer or by visiting www.configure.mclaren.com.