McLaren MP4-12C Spider

Sun Tanning your Eagerness for Speed!

This new Spider is as fine as the closed-top coupe that shares the same components. Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director, said: "We know 12C drivers love the Formula 1 technology DNA that runs throughout their cars. With the 12C Spider, owners will have an even greater opportunity to create their perfect driving experience. Top up or top down, the sports car with highest performance among the competition just became even more breathtaking. The exhilarating aspects of driving the 12C Spider are captured beautifully in this great new film."

I headed to Hatta, UAE, to find out.

Driving Impressions
McLaren wanted us to drive the 12C Spider so bad that they flew me to Dubai to give it the best they had. They put me up in a hyper-luxurious hotel in Madinat Jumeirah, "Al Qasr", meaning "the castle". The journey was to Hatta Fort Hotel, close to the Sultanate of Oman's borders.

Many of you might be wondering about when supercars get their top off, if they lose aerodynamics and so on. But believe it or not, this wasn't the case with the 12C Spider. An upgrade was done for 2013 12C's 3.8 liter, twin-turbo V8 that got a 24 hp wallop, for a total of 616 hp. This was accomplished completely via software tuning. The car's seven-speed, dual-clutch SSG remains unaffected.

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.

With the 12C designed originally as a convertible, its 75kg 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 40kg more with the addition of a convertible roof system. The retractable hard top of the 12C Spider is operated using a switch in the lower section of the centre console inside the cabin, taking less than 17 seconds to raise or lower. The roof can be operated whilst the 12C Spider is moving at speeds of up to 30 kph.

Behind driver and passenger sits a rear windscreen which may also be electronically lowered and raised. With the roof lowered this acts as a wind deflector to minimize 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 can be used as an additional luggage area which provides useful storage space.

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.

Launched in Volcano Red - one of 17 exterior paint finishes currently available for the 12C and 12C Spider- both 12C derivatives are available in optional Volcano Yellow, a striking new high quality 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 is 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. This technology permits the vehicle to be raised by up to 40mm at the front and 25mm at the rear of the 12C Spider, and may remain in position at up to 60 kph.

The McLaren 12C Spider is available to order at all of McLaren's dealers in the Middle East. A prop to my drive is that I was truly pleased that throughout our long and straight photo shoot road, in the middle of the desert with no flashy Kodak cams, I had the opportunity to cross the 300 kph bar!

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