McLaren Automotive showcased the new 12C Spider, for the first time in public at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance’s prestigious Gooding & Company Auction preview. It is the second model in McLaren’s growing range of high performance sports cars.
The 12C Spider comes with a high-powered bespoke 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo engine which boasts 616bhp. The car features a unique Retractable Hard Top (RHT) folding roof system that can be lowered or raised on the move, and a carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis identical to that of the groundbreaking 12C coupe. Aside from shared architecture, the 12C and 12C Spider share a unique combination of spectacular performance with remarkable usability, these all attributes make the car light weighted, thus the power to weight ratio increases.
The 12C Spider’s impressive 616 bhp power is transmitted to the car’s rear driven wheels through a 7-Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, which itself provides lightning-fast gear changes through rocker-mounted shift paddles affixed to the rear of the steering wheel. A clear view of the 12C Spider’s lightweight M838T power plant is available through a glass screen positioned behind the tonneau cover.
McLaren was the first company which started the use of carbon fibre in automotive and it is considered a pioneer in this. In 1981 McLaren gave a debut to a carbon fibre monocoque chassis in Formula 1 with the launch of the MP4/1 race car, and in 1992 the legendary McLaren F1 introduced the advanced composite technology to the world of road cars. It was natural then for McLaren Automotive engineers to apply its carbon fibre expertise when developing the ground-breaking one-piece molded chassis of the 12C. Its 165 lb ‘MonoCell’ requires no additional strengthening for it to feature in the 12C Spider. The result is a sports car almost identical to its fixed roof equivalent in performance terms, and weighing only 88 lbs more with the addition of a convertible roof system.
Behind driver and passenger sits a rear windscreen which may also be electronically lowered and raised. With the roof lowered this acts as wind deflector to minimize disturbance to the 12C Spider’s occupants. With the roof raised the rear window can be lowered, allowing the exhilarating noise of the 12C Spider’s V8 twin turbo engine to flood the cabin on demand at any time.
With the roof raised the area under the tonneau can be used as an additional luggage area which provides useful storage space. Bespoke luggage (two soft bags) has been designed specifically to fit this space and is supplied as standard with every 12C Spider.
The 12C Spider also features a passive Roll over Protection System to maximize occupant safety. Each buttress contains a steel structure designed to absorb impact energy and protect both driver and passenger
Vehicle dynamics technology including Brake Steer, ProActive Chassis Control and the unique McLaren Airbrake combine to offer sublime comfort in all driving conditions; and yet deliver race car performance and handling on track.