McLaren MP4-12C SpiderEnlarge Photo
Rumors of the car's existence have been circulating for months, and we showed you spy images of the car in testing as early as last November. Now McLaren has confirmed its existence, along with the release of this sole teaser image, although we’re still waiting for details on when the car will hit dealerships (early 2013 is our current best guess).
Power will come from the same McLaren-built 3.8-liter V-8 used in the coupe, which is now good for 616 horsepower and comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The coupe’s carbon fiber MonoCell chassis is retained, though modifications are necessary for open-air motoring.
McLaren assures customers that the MP4-12C coupe’s dynamics are retained, and it calls the Spider variant “more usable than any car this exciting has a right to be.”
Recent reports on the 12C Spider have the roof crafted from aluminum, not carbon fiber as originally thought. The top was designed by Webasto, the same company that designed the folding roof mechanism for Ferrari’s 458 Italia Spider, and should go from closed to open (and vice versa) in around 17 seconds, at speeds up to five miles per hour.
Those with knowledge of the project have called the 12C Spider more of a Targa than a true convertible, meaning it will likely retain the Coupe’s C-pillars for added rollover protection.
We’ll bring you all the details on McLaren’s latest supercar just as soon as they become available.