McLaren MP4-12C Spider official

McLaren has delivered on its new convertible promise, revealing the teased MP4-12C Spider and set to break some records (and some wallets) when it hits asphalt later in 2012. Built on the same underlying race-car technology as the 12C coupé, including the carbon MonoCell chassis, the 12C Spider introduces a folding hard roof that drops in 17s and can be operated while the car is moving at up to 30kph.

Admittedly, though, the new McLaren is probably happier at higher speeds than that. There's a 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine with 612PS output, driving the rear wheels through a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission with steering wheel paddles. If you like to hear the roar of the engine but not get your hair messed up, an electronically retractable rear window can be brought up to act as a deflector.

As you'd expect, the performance figures are astonishing, though what's even more impressive is what little impact the retractable hardtop and other added components make in comparison to the original car. The Spider matches its 0-62mph dash, completing it in just 3.1s, and at 9s is only 0.2s slower to a license-losing 124mhp. Maximum speed is three miles per hour less, at a still-impressive 204mph.

Inside there's plenty of semi-aniline perforated leather and Alcantara, along with a big in-dash LCD display, together with custom luggage that comes as standard. Vehicle Lift is also an option, raising the Spider by 40mm at the front and 25mm at the back just in case you're facing any nasty speed humps.

The McLaren 12C Spider is up for order now, in 22 countries, with the first deliveries expected in November 2012. It's priced from $265,750 before you get trigger-happy with the options.