The McLaren MP4-12C Spider was the second vehicle in the growing range of high performance sports cars from
McLaren Automotive when it debuted in 2011. As you may remember, the newest
member, the P1, has just achieved a
sub-7 minute lap of the
The 2014 McLaren MP4-12C Spider, a lightweight, mid-engine open-top sports car combines the astonishing performance of the MP4-12C Coupe with the increased exhilaration of roof-down motoring. Unlike most other spiders or convertibles, the MP4-12C Spider offers the same performance, handling and driver enjoyment as the fixed-roof coupé version.
The MP4-12C Spider uses the industry-leading carbon fiber MonoCell as the MP4-12C Coupe, which needs no extra strengthening to provide the necessary rigidity and strength for an open roof car. In conventional steel or aluminum chassis cars, extra strengthening - and associated weight increase - is normal during the conversion from fixed-head coupé to open-roof convertible. This can compromise performance, handling and driving enjoyment.
The composure of a sports car, the fun of a convertible 'In the new MP4-12C Spider you get the best of both worlds,' says McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff. "You get all the performance and driving integrity of the MP4-12C, plus the thrill of open-roof motoring."
The 2014 McLaren MP4-12C Spider is mechanically identical to the MP4-12C. It uses the upgraded 616 hp engine, which was part of the MP4-12C Model Year 2013 upgrade. Acceleration - 0-60 mph - takes just 3 seconds (when fitted with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires), the same as the coupé. Fuel consumption and emissions also remain the same, returning 15 mpg in the city and 22 mph on the highway. The figures are much better than most high performance convertible sports cars, in keeping with McLaren's commitment to class-leading fuel efficiency. Maximum speed is 207 mph (333 km/h).
The Retractable Hard Top (RHT) on the 2014 McLaren MP4-12C Spider is a fully automatic two-piece design which can be raised or lowered in less than 17 seconds at speeds of up to 19 mph (30 km/h). When lowered, the roof stows beneath a body colored hard tonneau cover which incorporates twin buttresses. With the roof raised, the area beneath the tonneau cover can be used as additional luggage space.
The MP4-12C Spider features a heated glass rear window, which can be operated independently of the roof. With the roof down, the rear window moves automatically to an 'aero' position to minimize buffeting. Additionally, with the roof up, the window can be lowered to give direct access to the sound of the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine mounted directly behind the cabin.
The McLaren MP4-12C Spider's main competitor is the Ferrari 458 Spider.
Spider Model Envisioned from the Start
"The MP4-12C Spider is not a converted version of the MP4-12C," notes Sheriff. "Importantly, the two were conceived and developed at the same time, and alongside each other. The MP4-12C program included a coupé and convertible from the outset. The carbon fiber MonoCell chassis and all other mechanical components were designed to produce maximum performance in both configurations."
"The MP4-12C Spider fully subscribes to the McLaren overriding principle, that every single component should be 'Pure McLaren'. Each constituent part was conceived, designed and produced to McLaren specification - nothing is shared from other manufacturers. The goal is to maximize driving enjoyment, performance and efficiency. Just as important, we always seek to innovate. By producing the MP4-12C Spider with all the performance, handling and ride quality of the MP4-12C, we have done just that."