Stig vs the 12C Spider

The gloved finger prods; the motors whirr as the buttressed tonneau lifts and the two-piece roof folds itself in half and away. Stig waits the necessary 17 seconds impassively (clearly having failed to take on board that the manoeuvre can be accomplished at up to 30kph), before shooting me a glance that manages to communicate that ‘moving-weight-down-and-back-in-car-is-better' with nothing more than a small, curt nod. And with a launch-assisted chirrup from the tyres, he's gone. A short time later, much tyre pain can be heard.

By my reckoning, I've got 15 minutes to tell you about the McLaren 12C Spider before he's back demanding fresh rubber. The most important thing to note is that the Spider uses exactly the same carbon tub as the coupe - a tub that was designed from the outset to underpin both models, so needs no additional bracing, unlike, for the sake of argument, the Ferrari 458 Spider. There, the weight gain over the coupe is 75kg and the loss of stiffness about 30 per cent. Here, the figures are 40kg and zero per cent. That's deeply impressive.