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McLaren MP4-12C Spider: Your Hair Gel Is Doomed

0-124 mph in nine seconds flat. Good luck, Axe Messy Paste.

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Listen, I don’t care what brand of “product” you use. I don’t care if it’s designed to keep your hair upright through an entire week of beach-lounging, boardwalk-strutting, club-going, Bud Light-pounding, drunken-brawling and Snooki-snookering on the Jersey Shore in the middle of the hottest, most humid July since Atlantic City was home to a native population of Triceratops. The McLaren MP4-12C Spider will knock your hair straight back in about five seconds flat.

I can say this with confidence, because earlier this week, I spent a couple days with the coupe version of the MP4-12C. So believe me when I say that the acceleration of that car is so intense, a ride in it ought to be included in astronaut training. It hauls ass the way the cast of The Expendables kicks ass.

And since the MP4-12C Spider only weighs 88 pounds more than the coupe, any difference in acceleration will be…minimal. According to McLaren’s own figures, the hardtop and the softtop folding hardtop are even from 0-60; it’s only by the time the cars are reaching around 100 mph that the coupe starts to pull away. McLaren says the 2013 MP4-12C coupe does the quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds at 136 mph, while the spider does it in 10.8 seconds at 134 mph. Which is a pretty reasonable price to pay for the added thrill (and hearing damage) of driving with the top down.

What may or may not be a reasonable price to pay, however, are the changes in appearance made to the car in order to accommodate the topless lifestyle. Much like the Ferrari 458 it’s so directly aimed at, the Spider version of the MP4-12C sacrifices some of the original car’s fluidity to give the folding top room to breathe. Is it a worthy trade-off? We’d probably stick with the coupe, but we’d understand if the allure of open-top motoring was strong enough to trade away a few style points in your book. (Also, in a twist on the usual paradigm, the MP4-12C Spider actually offers more luggage space than the coupe; with the top up, the space behind the seats where the roof folds into can be used to store 55 liters of belongings in two custom-designed soft bags that come with every Spider.)

Other than that, the MP4-12C Spider is pretty much identical to the 2013 MP4-12C hardtop: same 616 horsepower 3.8 liter twin turbo V8, same seven-speed DSG, same orgy of electronic gimmickry designed to make your inexperienced ass look as competent as Lewis Hamilton. The Spider, however, will cost you a bit more than the hardtop—it starts at $265,750 before you add on any taxes, registration fees, or options from the Kate Upton’s legs-long options list. Just for reference, the Macca we drove last weekend had about $50,000 in options on it. [via McLaren]

Press Release:

McLaren Automotive reveals details and images of 2013 12C Spider

Jul 3, 2012

Shared Formula 1 technology in 12C coupe and 12C Spider means performance is similarly impressive for both derivatives
McLaren 12C Spider configurator launched online at: www.configure.mclaren.com
The 38 McLaren dealerships in 22 countries have begun ordering their first 12C Spiders
The first 12C Spiders will arrive in market in late December/early January
The global unveiling of the 12C Spider will take place during Gooding & Company’s Exclusive VIP Preview Reception on Friday, August 17th and will be displayed on the Concept Car Lawn throughout the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend

McLaren Automotive announces today the launch of its second vehicle in the MP4-12C family: the new 12C Spider; a variant of the 12C. The 12C Spider is lightweight with a high powered engine which boasts 616 bhp, a unique Retractable Hard Top (RHT) folding roof system, and a carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis identical to that of the groundbreaking 12C coupe. The 12C Spider is a luxury convertible sports car that offers a unique combination of spectacular performance with remarkable usability.

The new 12C Spider will be priced from $265,750* in the US and is now available to order from McLaren retailers across the globe. First deliveries to customers are planned for late December/early January.

The global unveiling of the 12C Spider will take place during Gooding & Company’s Exclusive VIP Preview Reception on the evening of Friday, August 17th and will be displayed on the Concept Car Lawn throughout the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director said: “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.

“While the 12C is the technological essence of a race car, the 12C Spider incorporates an additional dimension. 12C Spider owners will love the opportunity to lower the roof and hear the unhindered howl of a V8 twin turbo engine at full throttle. It undoubtedly enhances an already euphoric 12C driving experience.

“The 12C Spider delivers all the thrills characteristic of a high performance roadster, and yet transforms into a raucous track beast at the flick of a switch. I can’t wait to see it on road and track with customers later this year.”

Best-in-class performance

The 12C Spider’s impressive 616 bhp output from its bespoke 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine 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.

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. An overview of 12C Spider performance compared with the 12C is below:

Technical specification highlights

McLaren is a carbon fiber pioneer. In 1981 McLaren gave a debut to a carbon fiber 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 fiber expertise when developing the groundbreaking 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 minimise 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.

Creating one in a million: 12C Spider personalization highlights

Launched in Volcano Red – one of 17 exterior paint finishes currently available for the 12C and 12C Spider- both 12C derivatives will also be available in optional Volcano Yellow, a striking new paint which features in the ‘Elite’ range of exterior finishes.

Inside, an exclusive new interior trim has been developed for the 2013 model year 12C and new 12C Spider. High-quality, semi-aniline perforated leather and Alcantara may be selected in a variety of combinations to suit an owner’s personal taste.

A new wheel design, and ‘Diamond Cut’ finishes for existing lightweight and super lightweight forged wheel designs may be selected for the 12C Spider. Standard Silver or Stealth finishes are offered for all wheel designs.

Vehicle Lift will be available as an option on 2013 model year vehicles. The system allows the 12C Spider to be raised front and rear for improved ground clearance.

Prospective customers and sports car fans alike are encouraged to visit the new 12C Spider online configurator, and discover a range of exciting options that may be specified in literally millions of unique combinations. The 12C Spider configurator is now live at: www.configure.mclaren.com.

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