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McLaren MP4-12C Spyder To Get Innovative, Three-Piece Hard-Top

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On: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 4:16PM | By: Chris Weiss


McLaren MP4-12C Spyder To Get Innovative, Three-Piece Hard-Top

The Ferrari 458 Spider may be the "world's first mid-rear Berlinetta equipped with a retractable hard top," but one of its big competitors will have an equally intriguing hard-top when it hits the scene. McLaren has turned to a familiar company in designing an innovative folding hard-top for the MP4-12C Spyder.

According to Autocar, McLaren has teamed with German firm Webasto, the same manufacturer that worked with Ferrari on the 458 hard-top. Like Ferrari, McLaren will offer its mid-level supercar with a folding hard-top. But the design will be a bit different. The MP4-12C system will reportedly use three roof panels, which will retract and stack on top of each other. They'll slide away into a compartment behind the seats.

Thanks to the small footprint of the three-piece top, McLaren will be able to display the centerpiece of the MP4-12C - the 592-hp 3.8-liter V-8 engine - by way of a glass panel. In the competitive world of supercar folding hard-tops, we think that's called a trump card.

As in the case of the 458 Spider, the folding hard-top solution will also allow the MP4-12C to maintain its natural shape.

McLaren's solution doesn't sound quite as intriguing as Savage Rivale/Inalfa's four-panel system, but it sounds like a similar concept. Breaking the roof into multiple panels means that it can be stowed away in a smaller space.

The 458 Spider, which was unveiled prior to last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, employs a single-piece roof. When activated, a compartment in front of the engine opens and the roof panel rotates inside for storage. The process takes just 14 seconds.




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