McLaren's continuous and measured improvement of the MP4-12C supercar continued this week when the carmaker added one very big new feature to the car: a convertible top.
The MP4-12C has already been something of a critical darling, thanks to its excellent handling, amazing power, and great ride quality. But McLaren has been continuously improving the car, even while critics test it and consumers buy it. McLaren engineers famously made last-ditch tweaks to the car between the first wave of press drives and the first customer deliveries, and the 2013 model year brought more changes to the car's interior software and external hardware.
It would seem a propos, then, that one of the last things that McLaren did to the 2013 MP4-12C was to give it a volume-adjustable engine note, because now buyers won't have a solid roof to block out some of the noise coming from the mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, which now produces 617 hp. That power will still be sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, paddle-shifted, dual clutch transmission.
We're still not sure exactly which type of top the car will have--McLaren only released one photo of the car, which didn't show any details about the top--but we did previously report that the car will get a three-piece folding hardtop made of either carbon fiber or aluminum that will fold behind the front seats to preserve the car's swoopy side profile.
McLaren will announce more details about the car next week (July 3rd, to be exact), but in the meantime it's released a video of McLaren driver Jenson Button talking about the thrill of open-top motoring. Whether or not he's talking about the MP4-12C or his own McLaren Formula 1 car is up to interpretation.
Photos below are of the 2012 MP4-12C coupe and the 2013 MP4-12C Spider.