McLaren 12C Spider revealed, now on sale

McLaren has pulled the wraps off the new McLaren 12C Spider right on schedule, as previously indicated. The drop-top model features a retractable hard top roof, and the same updated twin-turbo V8 engine as seen in the 2013 MP4-12C.

Like the MP4-12C coupe, the 12C Spider is powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing 460kW and 600Nm, wrapped up in a complete carbon fibre ‘MonoCell’ chassis. Power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission and into the rear wheels.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive managing director, spoke about the launch of the new model, saying,

“I am really excited to announce that the new 12C Spider is now available to order at new McLaren retailers worldwide. The launch of our second model is an exciting milestone in the growth of our company.”

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Removing the roof in any car decreases structural rigidity, as you can imagine, but with the 12C Spider McLaren has focused on retaining the dynamic and handling properties of the MP4-12C coupe. McLaren said,

“With the 12C designed originally as a convertible, its 75kg ‘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 40kg more with the addition of a convertible roof system.”

The Spider uses an electric hard top roof design which can be retracted at the touch of a button inside the cabin. This can be done at speeds up to 30km/h, taking 17 seconds to retract or deploy.

McLaren has put together a bit of a chart to show the difference between the coupe and the new Spider, in terms of performance and specification. By the looks of it, there isn’t much in it.

The McLaren 12C Spider is on sale in Australia with prices starting at $543,900. Orders are being taken now, with deliveries expected in November.

MP4-12C Spider*
(625 PS/616 bhp)
MP4-12C *
(625 PS/616 bhp)
0-62 mph (0-100 kph)3.1 sec3.1 sec
0-100mph (0-161kph)6.16.0
0-124 mph(0-200 kph)9.0 sec8.8 sec
¼ mile (400m)10.8 sec @ 134 mph
(216 kph)
10.6 sec @ 136 mph (219 kph)
V Max204 mph (329 kph)207 mph (333 kph)
Fuel efficiency, EU MPG
24.2 (11.7)24.2 (11.7)
CO2 g/km279279

McLaren 12C Spider specifications:

Drivetrain layoutLongitudinal mid-engine, RWD
Engine configurationV8 twin turbo
Engine materialAluminium block and cylinder heads
OilingDry sump
Compression ratio8.7:1
Valvetrain32-valve, DOHC, dual VVT
Redline ( rpm)8,500
Bore x Stroke (mm)93 x 69.9
Engine displacement (cc)3799
PS / rpm625 / 7500
Torque Nm / rpm600 / 3000-7000
PS per litre164
Transmission7 Speed SSG
Body structureCarbon fibre MonoCell with aluminum front and rear frames
Wheelbase (mm)2670
Track, F/R (mm)1656 / 1583
Length (mm)4509
Width (mm)  @ widest point2093
Height (mm)1203
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 aerodynamicsMcLaren Airbrake
SuspensionProActive Chassis Control
ProActive Chassis Control modesWinter / Normal / Sport / Track
Powertrain modesWinter / Normal / Sport / Track
BrakesCast 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 235/35 R19 / 305/30 R20

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.