McLaren Launches MP4-12C Variant: the Spider

Gary S. Vasilash

As the McLaren MP4-12C, which we cover in Automotive Design & Production’s current issue (which you can find here, although it looks a heck of a lot better in the ink-on-paper format), has garnered a significant amount of well-deserved attention for the exquisite, purposeful design and equally tailored performance, we’d like to bring a little more attention to a variant of the car we covered: the just-launched McLaren Spider.

McLaren Spider

Yes, it is a retractable hardtop. The mechanism puts the roof in the—well, it’s not exactly the trunk, as the engine is back there, so let’s just say it tucks it away behind the cabin in 17 seconds. If the top is up, there are 52 liters of space back there for storing things like the specially designed luggage that comes with the McLaren Spider.  (Everything is designed—well designed—when it comes to McLaren products.

One difference between this retractable hardtop and others is that it can be operated while the car is moving—at speeds up to 19 mph. But really: When is this carbon-fiber bodied car with its 616-hp, 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 ever going to be driven at 19 mph?

Just look: