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McLaren to build a convertible

Sneak preview: McLaren teased the 12C Spider with this photo but has promised to reveal more within days.

British supercar-maker McLaren announces its second model will be a Spider

2 Jul 2012

SUPERCAR outfit McLaren Automotive has revealed that its second model will be a convertible version of the MP4-12C that went on sale only 12 months ago.

McLaren promises the new 12C Spider will be just as dynamic to drive as its hardtop sibling, which only last month was upgraded with a 19kW increase in power to 466kW from its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.

The road car division of the UK-based McLaren Formula One racing team has so far provided only this single teaser photograph of the 12C Spider, but has promised to reveal more on July 3, when the order books will be opened.

If it is offered for sale in Australia, where the coupe is priced at $490,000, the 12C Spider is likely to sell for around $540,000.

Reports out of Europe suggest the lightweight Spider will sport a three-piece folding roof made from aluminium or carbon-fibre.

McLaren Automotive said in a brief statement that the carbon-fibre-chassis 12C Spider will be based on the coupe, which accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 3.0 seconds and has a top speed of 333km/h in its latest form.

42 center imageFrom top: McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button McLaren MP4-12C.

“But removing the roof will dial up the sensations experienced, the emotions felt and the noise heard, especially at the speeds the 12C Spider will be capable of,” the company said.

“And true to McLaren’s ethos of offering high performance without compromise, the 12C Spider will be more usable than any car this exciting has a right to be.”

According to British magazine Auto Express, McLaren is also working on a top-secret shooting brake estate version of the MP4-12C that will be similar in concept to the recently revealed Ferrari FF.

The magazine claims the ‘estate’ will still be a two-seater and mid-engined, but with an extended roof that would provide more boot space to “position the car as a more practical alternative to range-topping Porsche 911s”.

In the lead-up to presenting the 12C Spider, McLaren posted a video on YouTube showing F1 team driver Jenson Button talking about driving without a roof over his head – though it is intentionally vague as to whether he was referring to the road car or his race car.

“You feel that you’re more part of the world without the roof – it does make you smile every second you’re driving it,” says the 2009 world champion in the video.

“You hear every single noise that comes from the car, but also outside of the car.

“For me, you definitely feel more at one when there’s no roof. It just feels a lot more natural.”

Full details on the McLaren 12C Spider will be posted here on www.goauto.com.au on Wednesday morning (July 4) AEST.

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