It is bound to happen; almost every coupe in existence has a showier, drop-top twin. So here it is, the McLaren 12C Spider, made from the same carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis of the MP4-12C that requires no additional strengthening. McLaren says that the 75 kg MonoCell was originally designed as a convertible, so a drop-top was always in the cards.

With the hard top roof, which can be retracted at speeds iup to 30 km/h, the Spider weighs only 40 kg more. So it has the performance levels near to the coupe; more later. Raise the roof and the Spider can hold 52 litres of storage space under the tonneau. Bespoke luggage has been specially designed to fit in this space and is standard with every 12C Spider.

The Spider is powered by a 3.8 litre V8 twin turbo that generates 625 PS to the rear wheels through a seven-speed SSG dual clutch transmission. McLaren have so kindly done a comparison chart of the 12C Spider and the 12C that details all the essential performance figures, which you can see below.

The car comes equipped with Brake Steer, ProActive Chassis Control and McLaren’s own Airbrake. The Spider also features a passive Roll Over Protection System to maximise safety in addition to the steel buttress that absorbs impact energy, which protects driver and passenger.

Developed for the 2013 model year 12C range is the semi-aniline perforated leather and Alcantara, which the owner can select in a variety of combinations. Also new is the wheel design and ‘Diamond Cut’ finishes for existing lightweight and super lightweight forged wheel designs.

2013 model year cars will have Vehicle Lift as an option. The system allows the 12C Spider to extend its legs up to 40 mm at the front and 25 mm at the back for better ground clearance. This system will stay in position up to 60 km/h.

McLaren have also launched the 12C Spider configurator on its website. McLaren claims that there are millions of unique combinations for you to trick out your 12C Spider. And if you choose, order the model you’ve just customised. Do check it out at www.configure.mclaren.com; it’s pretty cool.