James May is a fan of good design and an even bigger exponent of excellence in engineering: two things he found in abundance in the new McLaren 12C Spider – a convertible that neatly beheads the usual arguments against convertible cars by being as perfectly dynamic as the coupe version. Except with a mighty sunroof. Driving the car exclusively for TG mag along the highest paved road in Europe, James discovered that the 12C Spider was:
“Perhaps the most benign supercar I’ve ever tried. Some would want to be admired for their courage in mastering a Ferrari GTO or that demanding Lamborghini Aventador, but I say cobblers to that. I can challenge myself by learning to play the violin. This is a good-time car and I want a good time. I get it.”
After speculation last week, we can confirm that the next chapter in the What Car Will McLaren Make Next? saga is one hundred percent the McLaren MP4-12C Spider. And look at it, it’s stunning.
And to answer your question - yes. It’s got the more powerful 616bhp, 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. And yes, it’ll do over 200mph - but only 204mph, 3mph slower than it’s closed-roof sibling. Even so, hairpiece owner will need some stickier glue as the Spider does 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds - the same time as the coupe.
The Spider uses a variation of the coupe’s carbon-fibre MonoCell chassis. This 75kg tub requires no additional strengthening for it to feature in the 12C Spider and because of its F1 techyness, it means that the car is almost identical to its fixed roof counterpart in the performance department.
Did we mention that it’s stunning?
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First off, he walked away from the accident. He’s ok.
Rowan Atkinson, the comedian and petrol-head, has been discharged from hospital on Friday after walking away from a crash in one of the world’s fastest road cars – suffering no worse than an injured shoulder, some very expensive coach work and wounded pride.
He left Peterborough City hospital in a wheelchair by the back door, flanked by security guards who attempted to block waiting photographers, and was driven away in a private ambulance.
The accident happened when one of the stars of his large car collection the maroon McLaren F1 – which he bought in 1997 for a reported £650,000, as a reward for the success of his Mr Bean film – apparently spun off the wet road on Thursday night and hit a tree and a lamppost.