By Amos Kwon
on 7.9.12
Photo by Mclaren

No question the McLaren MP4-12C is a remarkable automobile, often pitted agains the likes of the venerable Ferrari 458 Italia and holding its own. Now it’s gone topless as the McLaren MP4-12C Spider, and it’s quite the looker, especially in Volcano Red. Not common knowledge, the MP4-12C (say that ten times after a few dirty martinis), was originally designed as a convertible. Using “MonoCell” technology lets the MP4-12C avoid additional structural members for rigidity and keeps the roof weight to a manageable 165 pounds. Plus, the Unique Retractable Hard Top (RHT in McLaren-speak) can be operated at speeds of up to 19 mph (if your foot’s not that precise, we’d cut out the Transformer shenanigans at 15).

The Spider boasts the same performance DNA as its hardtop brother (616 hp from its V8 twin turbo), plus with the top down, it looks positively gorgeous with the twin humps behind the tonneau and the clear glass engine cover. McLaren has also ingeniously provided 52 cubic feet of cargo space under the tonneau cover when the roof is raised and will kindly include a set of custom luggage with your new purchase. Passive head protection behind the headrests and a power rear windscreen to mitigate the wind come standard in the Spider. Another new feature on the MP4-12C Spider and its hardtop sibling is the Vehicle Lift system, which does what it says, raising the front of the car up to 40mm and the rear to 25mm for speeds up to 37 mph, so as your waving to the girls on your way up the White Castle drive-through, you won’t look like a complete idiot.

More photos after the jump.

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