Our spy photographer caught a version of the McLaren 12C Spider supercar testing with subtle changes that preview a face lift for the British exotic. In addition to the visual changes, we hear the McLaren 12C could get a small horsepower boost to a total of 650 hp.
The lack of badges and the presence of cladding over the car's nose suggest that the McLaren 12C will receive some changes to its sleek headlights and racy front fascia. The headlights could adopt a smoother, more rounded design, while it's possible the fascia's large air intakes and prominent splitter have been redesigned for better aerodynamic performance at speed. No other visual changes are obvious on the rest of the test car spied here.
When it first launched, the McLaren MP4-12C boasted 592 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 engine, but for 2013 the company upped the engine's output by 25 hp, pushing the total to 617 hp. We're told that figure could grow again to about 650 hp, a figure that would no doubt scrub a few tenths of the 12C's current 3.1-second 0-to-62-mph time.
In addition to the coupe, McLaren sells 12C Spider on which this test car is based. It has a power-folding hardtop that can be lowered at speeds up to 19 mph. Beneath the smooth, aerodynamically shaped bodywork of both versions is a carbon fiber monocoque that is assembled as one piece in just four hours. Top speed for the McLaren 12C coupe is 207 mph, while the Spider manages 204 mph. (The MP4 prefix has been dropped from both models.) Earlier this year, McLaren introduced both a limited-edition 50th anniversary version of the 12C, and a track-only model called the GT Sprint.
Expect to see the face-lifted McLaren 12C debut officially later this year. Our spy shooter says the new car could debut in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.