McLaren’s MP4-12C Spider makes its public bow

After all the spy shots and the official teasing of images from Woking’s McLaren offices, the 12C Spider is among us following its public debut at the Pebble Beach concours d’elegance, albeit to a select audience.

Luckily for us we have been privileged with some shots of the new £195,500 convertible version of the already popular and well received hard top 12C from the British firm. Like its rival, the Ferrari 458 Spider, the 12C comes with a very clever folding hardtop that will retract in 17secs at speeds no greater than 19mph.

Like most supercars that lose their roof, most would expect some structural stiffness to be lost at the drop of the folding hardtop, but thanks to McLaren’s monocell chassis architecture inherited from the standard version, the Spider should offer the same precise handling and ride quality.

The 2013 changes for the 12C range will apply for the Spider, so the engine’s power is the upgraded 616bhp and will also benefit from the revisions made to the car’s 7-speed SSG twin-clutch gearbox. Weight gain is just 40kg over the coupe and the Spider will match its predecessor’s 3.1secs to 60mph time, with the Spider maxing out at 204mph.

McLaren have opened the order book for the Spider, with deliveries starting early in the New Year and anyone travelling to September’s Paris Motor Show should be able to catch a first-hand glimpse of the car in person.