McLaren topless, 200mph+, MP4-12C Spider supercar coming very soon

McLaren MP412C Spider TeaserMcLaren has released the first official picture of the drop-top version of the MP4-12C supercar, along with a promotional video from Jenson Button, one of the men who gets paid to drive a fast McLaren around a track every other weekend.

The MP4-12C made its debut in the US in February, nearly a year after it first made the rounds in the UK, so it’s about time McLaren sawed the roof off for a convertible version, to be named the MP4-12C Spider.

Although the image, which you can see above, doesn’t give much away, it does a good job of teasing the finished result. The MP4-12C’s a technical marvel and removing the roof could give that precisely engineered body some character.

It’ll use a modified version of the same carbon fiber chassis found on the hardtop model, along with the raucous twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V8, and 7-speed, twin-clutch seamless shift transmission.

The engine was recently treated to a small makeover, which will be retroactively applied to existing MP4-12Cs and as it’s a software change, should come as standard on the new Spiders. Power output has been given a 25-horsepower boost, taking it to 616-horsepower, and the shift times have been decreased too.

Acceleration from 0-60 miles per hour is unchanged at 3.2-seconds, but those 25 additional horses gallop on to 207 miles per hour instead of 205, and should help in the mid-range too. How close to this top speed the Spider will get remains to be seen, but it’s still expected to top 200 miles per hour.

It’s probably not a coincidence that McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button is featured in the Spider’s promo video — where those marketing wags have made it sound like he could be talking about the Spider or his F1 steed — as the British Grand Prix will take place on July 8, an event which is an ideal launchpad for the new car.

Information on the Spider is limited at the moment, but McLaren has promised to release more details very soon. AutoExpress.co.uk estimates the car will cost £190,000/$298,000 when it goes on sale in 2013.

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