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McLaren MP4-12C Spider (2012) first teaser photo

Fri, 29 Jun 2012

McLaren today issued this first teaser photograph of the second model in its fledgling road-car line-up: the new McLaren MP4-12C Spider.

No prizes for spotting it's a convertible version of the existing MP4-12C coupe. Expect it in showrooms later in 2012, priced to compete with the £198,936 Ferrari 458 Spider.

The first photo is the teaser image released by Woking; the second and third images are CAR's artist's impressions published earlier this year.

What do we know about the McLaren MP4-12C Spider?

Not much, officially at least. Woking says more information will be forthcoming in the next few days, so we'll have to wait until next week to hear the full story behind the 12C Spider.

But it's clear to see that the McLaren Spider offers a full cabrio experience, judging by the open-top photograph issued today. This hints for the first time at the Webasto-sourced three-part folding hard-top mechanism first reported by CAR Magazine (click here for our earlier scoop of the McLaren MP4-12C Spider).

It shares the tin-top's high-output, twin-turbocharged V8 and lightweight composite construction; McLaren has confirmed it gets the same 617bhp 3.8-litre V8 and MonoCell carbonfibre tub, the stiff basis for which it can claim such rigidity.

High-performance McLaren Spider credentials

The MP4-12C coupe made quite a splash when it launched a year ago in summer 2011. It might not have quite dislodged the Ferrari 458 Italia from our list of favourite sports cars, but it ran it damn close.

And McLaren Automotive announced in summer 2012 a series of upgrades, which will be offered retrospectively to owners of existing 12Cs as well as buyers of the new MP4-12C Spider.

For a full list of McLaren upgrades, click here. Key changes include:

• Power up from 592bhp to 617bhp
• Improved seven-speed twin-clutch 'box
• Intake Sound Generator now tunable to turn up induction noise
• Touhc-sensitive door switches binned in favour of switches
• Climate control, minor switchgear improved
• Touchscreen infotainment system upgraded
• Nose-lift system launched

The upgraded 2013 McLaren MP4-12C will be driven up the hill at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button.

By Tim Pollard (artist's impressions R Varicak/Motor Forecast)