Spider V Coupe
The release of the McLaren MP4-12C Coupe, later simply the McLaren 12C, heralded an unprecedented transfer of F1 construction and technology from track to road. While its Ferrari rival, the 458, is all raging sex appeal, the McLaren is the thinking man’s car. A little bit less expensive than the Ferrari, it also delivers more power. A lot more.
Inside the McLaren is also a very nice place to be and, unlike the 458’s more hands-on cockpit, the McLaren’s interior is about about clean lines and technology. The 12C truly is a car that you could drive every day but hit the right buttons and it becomes a formidable track weapon. Its suspension is completely independent thanks to the lack of anti-roll bars meaning the ride of the 12C is sweeter than a Kendal mint cake. The incredible F1 track technology ensures possibly the smoothest drive of any performance car while the Imax of a windscreen delivers unrivalled visibility.
The optional ceramic brakes are a must and the wing on the back doubling up as an air-brake ensures that stopping is not a problem. Which is a good thing. Because stick the McLaren into Track mode with all the driver aids turned down to a minimum and it is biblically fast, both on the straight and through the corners.
As a rule, convertibles do not ride or handle anywhere near as well as their coupe counterparts. The added weight of strengthening beams to compensate for the lack of roof mean convertibles are heavier and prone to “scuttle shake” around corners. McLaren solved this problem by developing the Coupe and the Spider versions of the 12C simultaneously, using the same carbon fibre MonoCell for both and completely disposing of the need for any chassis reinforcement. And by doing this, they have accomplished something few thought possible: a roof-off car with no discernable difference to the coupe other than the increased roar of the engine and a top speed of 204mph as opposed to 207. Hardly a deal breaker!
Both the Spider and Coupe versions of the McLaren 12C are phenomenal feats of engineering with an ability to change character at will. As well as being McLaren’s first road car since the F1, the low production numbers, time-defying good looks, direct bloodline to the legendary P1, and the higher price tags of the McLaren 650S and 720S, mean the value of the 12C is undoubtedly on the rise and will continue to increase in the years to come. But this is not a car to be kept in storage, this is a car to be enjoyed!
Coupe: £119,995/Spider: £127,995*
Top Speed: 204mph (Spider)/207mph (Coupe)
Engine: 3.8 V8 Twin Turbo
Max Power: 617 bhp
Fuel: 24.2 mpg (combined)
CO2: 279 g/km
*2013 McLaren 12C Spider and 2011 12C Coupe pictured are currently available for prices above at Premier GT.