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Join us for our first-ever LIVE TopSpeed Podcast!

Join us for our first-ever LIVE TopSpeed Podcast!

***We will start this party at approximately 0945 US EASTERN TIME***

Ladies and Gentleman, you are invited to join us for a special early-week TopSpeed Podcast. The best part? It is totally live. Feel free to click the play button on the YouTube video to hang out with us; you can even chat and comment live to give us feedback and ask us questions.

I know the show is a few days early, but I have a special announcement to make. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it involves lots of horsepower and an epic road trip. You have to watch to see what the announcement is.

Beyond the special announcement, we are going to talk about Justin’s drive of the new 4-Series, the new McLaren P13 GT and the future of solar powered roads.

Mark is also going to regale us with tales of his time with the Chrysler Town & Country, and then we plan on discussing the changed coming to the 2015 Nissan Frontier and then we plan on covering the crazy Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept.

We may have another piece of news or two, and of course we will have viewer questions, and a round of Own, Drive, Burn.

Click that play button and hang out!

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Video: McLaren 12C Spider Challenges a Snowboarder

Video: McLaren 12C Spider Challenges a Snowboarder

The new McLaren 12C Spider is now officially on sale in North America, and, to mark the event, McLaren has unveiled a short film shot at the Loveland Pass in Colorado. With Rhys Millen behind the wheel, the 12C Spider had to challenge professional snowboarder Chanelle Sladics.

Rhys Millen is the current overall record holder for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, so you can imagine that driving the 12C Spider in Loveland — the highest mountain pass in the world — was like an everyday play for him. On the other hand, Chanelle Sladics is a professional snowboarder and she competed eight times at the Winter X-Games. She also had the advantage of taking the most direct route across the snow covered landscape, so who will win this competition? Just watch the video to find out!

The 12C Spider driven in this video was equipped with a "Winter" powertrain setting that sets all electronic support systems to a maximum intervention level, with gearshift strategy and torque control optimized to limit any loss of traction.

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2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder

2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder

After months and months of spy shots, and a very special teaser, McLaren Automotive has finally unveiled the MP4-12C Spider and boy, was it worth the wait!

Featuring all of the updates recently found on the updated MP4-12C coupe, the Spider promises to take the fight to the Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder and help reinvigorate life into the high-performance sports car market.

As you would expect, the MP4-12C Spider is essentially identical to its coupe sibling, meaning it’s also made good use out of the advanced carbon fiber monocoque, tipping the scales at just 165 lbs. Despite the added weight of the electronic systems required to open and close the hardtop, the Spider has only gained 40kg/88 lbs over the coupe, meaning no modifications to the monocoque were needed.

The new MP4-12C Spider is offered with the same engine as the updated version of the MP4-12C Coupe: a 616 HP 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo engine combined with a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission. The Spider version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and will hit a top speed of 204 mph (3 mph less than the coupe).

One of the most innovative features of the new 12C Spider is its unique RHT (Retractable Hard Top) folding roof system that may be operated while on the move at speed of up to 19 mph.

Confirmed back in 2009, the new MP4-12C Spyder will be available for sale in 22 countries worldwide. On the British market, it is priced at £195,500, about $300K at the current exchange rates. On the US market, it will be priced at $268,250, which is about $37,250 more than its coupe sibling priced at $231,000

UPDATE 11/22/12: Recently McLaren invited the world’s top auto journalists to Ascari Race Resort in Spain to introduce them to the new McLaren 12CSpider. Of course they had all the fun in the world, and today McLaren has unveiled a pretty cool video shot during the press test days! Enjoy!

UPDATE 12/31/12: The McLaren MP4-12C Spyder officially made its debut in Hong Kong earlier this month. True to its reputation, the British supercar maker decided to introduce their MP4-12C Spyder to the Hong Kong faithful in style. Hop on over after the jump to watch the video!
Hit the jump for more details on the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder.

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Video: Jay Leno reviews the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder and 12C Can-Am Edition

Video: Jay Leno reviews the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder and 12C Can-Am Edition

While the entire automotive world is focused on the 2012 Paris Auto Show set to start tomorrow, Jay Leno is showing us how he takes full advantage of his king-like status in the automotive world by showing off the toys he played with at Pebble Beach. This latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features two of the most impressive models displayed at the Concours: the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder and 12C Can-Am Edition.

McLaren design director, Frank Stephenson, joined Leno in his review and helped out by offering a few details on the two models. He pointed out that the 12C Spider is only 88 lbs heavier than the coupe and that the Can-Am concept is about to enter production as a dedicated track car.

If true, this can be one of the most powerful race cars out there, getting a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers an amazing 630 HP!

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Video: McLaren Designer talks about the 12C Spider

Video: McLaren Designer talks about the 12C Spider

The new McLaren MP4-12C Spyder made its world debut at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours in California and this was the perfect opportunity for the guys over Drive to shot a pretty impressive video of the new sports roadster.

The video is featuring Chief designer for McLaren Automotive, Frank Stephenson, who is talking about the designing process on the new 12C Spyder, but is also revealing the secret behind the 12C Spider’s yellow paint job - it has to do with Ayrton Senna. He is also explaining why McLaren got inspired by the best automotive designer in the world: mother nature. Just watch the video and you will find out why!

Just like with the coupe, the new 12C Spyder is powered by a 616 HP 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo engine combined with a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission. The Spider version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and will hit a top speed of 204 mph.

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McLaren drops first teaser on the future 12C Spider

When Ferrari was putting together the finishing touches on the 458 Italia Spyder, we knew it would just be a matter of time before the rumored MP4-12C Spyder would come to fruition. Finally, we can say that this gorgeous drop-top sports car is getting ready to bust out into the automotive scene. McLaren has just dropped the first teaser image for the second model in its line-up, with a promise that the official details will be released on July 3rd, 2012.

The future McLaren MP4-12C Spider will be built on the same super stiff carbon fiber MonoCell chassis as its hardtop sibling, making it just as dynamic to drive. The model will obviously be offered with a retractable hard-top, but it will still "dial up the sensations experienced, the emotions felt and the noise heard. And true to McLaren’s ethos of offering high performance without compromise, the 12C Spider will be more usable than any car this exciting has a right to be."

Under the hood, McLaren kept the same twin-turbo V8-engine featured in the updated version of the MP4-12C coupe</b, which produces 616 HP at 7500 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque at 3000-7000 rpm. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed twin-clutch Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) that will be controlled via paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. Expect to see similar performance numbers to the standard MP4-12C: a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 207 mph.

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First Undisguised Images of the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder Surface

First Undisguised Images of the McLaren MP4-12C Spyder Surface

Now that McLaren has solved the problems associated with the MP4-12C Coupe, it’s time to focus our attention to the Spyder version due to be unveiled later in 2012. British magazine, CAR, was lucky enough to get ahold of the first images of the vehicle without any camouflage or decoy body panels. As seen in this image, the MP4-12C SPyder is as gorgeous as its coupe brother and will be offered with a folding metal roof - just like its competitor, the Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder.

The McLaren MP4-12C Spyder’s three-piece roof will open and close in about 17 seconds and will operate at speeds of up to 5 mph. The rest of the car will be identical to the coupe version: it will be powered by a V8 engine with an output of 592 HP and 442 lb-ft of torque. However, performance figures won’t be similar because the Spyder will be heavier, so no one should expect the same 205 mph top speed.

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Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss takes a lap on the Nurburgring

Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss takes a lap on the Nurburgring

At the Nurburgring Nordshleife Public day, the awe inspiring SLR Stirling Moss edition turned up to do a lap or two of the infamous Nordschleife, a very noble cause considering the many dangers on the Northloop, and the whopping 750k euro price tag.

The car was inspired by the 1955 300 SLR that Moss guided to the Mille Miglia record of ten hours & seven minutes and 48 seconds.

The power unit consists of a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 from the SLR 722 edition, meaning there’s a whopping 641bhp and 605lb ft, taking the speedster to 62mph in sub 3.5sec and onto a Vmax of 217mph.

The performance is a level above that of the rest of the Mercedes McLaren range thanks to a handy weight loss regime, including a carbon fiber body shedding approximately 200kg from the Standard SLR.

Owners will be able to personally compare the two, as the 75 Stirling Moss editions are only available to current SLR owners.

It rounds off production of the SLR – the best selling supercar ever, at around 1700 units.

It’s also the end of the McMerc supercar partnership – the Germans are going their own way with theSLS and McLaren is making its first independent car since the legendary F1 in the form of the MP4-12C.

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McLaren Spider in the works

McLaren Spider in the works

The former Formula One racecar builder and makers of the famed McLaren F1 super car recently revealed the MP4-12C, a two passenger super car that will provide the performance of a Ferrari, the style of a Lamborghini and the desirability of an Aston Martin while maintaining a much more reasonable cost. Aside from the fixed roof version, McLaren automotive has also announced that they will also be coming out with an open air spider version as well. This image you see above is the first rendering of the drop top McLaren MP4-12C that is to be unveiled as a production vehicle sometime in the next two to three years. When it finally does come to fruition, the MP4 spider will compete head to head with other high end exotics like the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder and the forthcoming Mercedes SLS AMG Cabriolet.

The McLaren MP4-12C will be powered by the same twin turbocharged 3.8 Liter V8 and seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox (SSG). An interesting fact about the super car power train is that the boosted eight cylinder engine offers the highest horsepower to CO2 ratio of any internal combustion car on the road today, including hybrids. The piston pumping V8 produces around 600 HP and 433 lb-ft of torque and will allow the future McLaren spider to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 200 MPH.

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McLaren plans P11 Roadster

McLaren plans P11 Roadster

McLaren has plans to lose the top on its P11 supercar. It’s unclear if the roadster is considered a second car in the three car plan, but the rendering above does seem like the P11 was always made for open top motoring.

The setup of the car is geared toward lightweight and strength. Under the skin of the P11 seems to be a carbon fiber tub connecting two aluminum subframes. One subframe carries the front suspension, and the other carries the engine, transmission and rear suspension assembly.

Previous reports suggested that the engine for the P11 would be a 6.2-liter V8 sourced from Mercedes. According to Autocar, McLaren will be utilizing the smaller 5.5-liter unit and will have the German engineering firm Mahle rework the entire unit.

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