McLaren MP4-12C convertible (2012): the first spy photos?

Published: 16 November 2011

Although taken on a very long lens from a kilometre away, we believe these grainy spyshots reveal the new McLaren MP4-12C spider.

McLaren insiders have confirmed a convertible version of the MP4-12C is coming, and engineers are currently flat out testing the final prototypes ahead of a planned debut in 2012.

How do you know this is the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C roadster? 

We’ve pored over the high-res spy photos and reckon you can see where the roof joins the windscreen header rail. There’s also discrete camouflage around the rear buttresses consistent with a convertible supercar roof.

Woking is believed to be developing a folding hard top like the Ferrari 458 Spider’s, although this engineering test car could be sporting a hard top over a canvas roof. The jury’s still out, but we’d put money on a coupe-convertible design.

What’s in the business plan at McLaren?

Ron Dennis’s fledgling supercar start-up is stepping up production at its Woking, UK, headquarters. Later this week McLaren will officially launch its new McLaren Production Centre, a new bespoke manufacturing facility next to the Technology Centre.

A McLaren spokesman said: ‘We don’t comment on speculative spyshots. All I’ll say is we are planning to launch a new model or new derivative every year through until the middle of the decade.’

Sounds to us like this is the new McLaren MP4-12C convertible, then.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet