Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Rather than the Technology Centre in which early MP4-12C’s were made, current 12C production has moved a few tens of metres to McLaren’s Production Centre – essentially a bespoke £40m car factory rather than an extension of the development centre.

And if anything, fit and finish and perceived quality has taken a hike since the launch of the McLaren 12C. The elements that were always impressive remain impressive – the delicately crafted air vents, for example. But the quality of stitching and finish seems even higher. 

If you’re looking for flamboyance, look elsewhere, mind. This is a clean and efficient interior. The audio and climate control have even been recalibrated for the Spider so that they give their best with the roof down.

On which note, the switch to drop the hood – which takes 17 seconds and can be performed at up to 19mph – is the only discernible difference between the Coupe and Spider’s interiors. 

The 12C’s retractable hard top consists of just two roof pieces, which slot neatly beneath a hard tonneau cover – one of the few body panels which isn’t the same as the 12C coupe’s. It sits when lowered beneath the tonneau cover which can be used for additional storage when the roof is raised.

At each side there’s a buttress, each of which includes a steel subsructure to withstand rollover impact forces. McLaren opted not to fit a pop-up system because of the additional weight involved.

Mostly the McLaren's interior is no bad thing, but some of our testers would prefer the 12C’s seats were capable of being dropped lower to the floor, while taller testers found the seat incapable of being reclined far enough when the base was towards its rearmost.

McLaren 12C Spider 2012-2014 news

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Here McLaren is arguably a victim of its own generosity of steering wheel reach, which stretches so far out into genuine race-car, wheel-at-chest position that it’s all the more tempting to recline the seat back.