Video: McLaren 12C Spider versus snowboarder

Article by Anita Panait, on March 25, 2013

McLaren Automotive is showing a new short film to mark the start of deliveries of the 12C Spider in North America. The short film shows the 12C Spider, driven by drift champion Rhys Millen, racing against professional snowboarder Chanelle Sladics in the ever-perilous and snow-covered Loveland Pass in Colorado.

Millen is the current overall record holder for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and is the 2005 Formula Drift champion as well as 2008 Drifting World Champion. Millen has appeared in more than 500 advertisements in around 20 years. He also appeared in films like the Fast and the Furious series and Indiana Jones.

He is currently working on a new film project that will be soon released. Millen remarked that it was an honor to have driven the McLaren 12C Spider up the “twisty snowy mountain roads” of the Loveland Pass.

Co-starring in the short film is professional snowboarder Chanelle Sladics, challenging the 12C Spider by taking the most direct route across the snow-covered landscape. Sladics, an eight-time competitor at the winter X-Games, has hosted snowboarding contests on ESPN.

Loveland, situated 11,990 feet (3,655 meters) above sea level, is the highest mountain pass in the world that remains open during the winter months. The short film was produced and directed by J.F. Musial, Founder of Tangent Vector. He recently launched a YouTube channel -- DRIVE -- that focuses on creating original automotive content for the Web.

McLaren unveiled the 12C Spider in North America during the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The 12C Spider is powered by 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine that provides 616 bhp, which is transmitted to the rear-driven wheels through a seven-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission. The sports car boasts of a distinct Retractable Hard Top (RHT) folding roof system as well as a carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis similar to that of the 12C.

Every element of the McLaren 12C Spider has been designed for a reason, just like the McLaren 12C. This means it doesn’t have unnecessary accents. The 12C Spider is a true-blue sports car, designed to offer maximum driving performance and appeal, as well as unmatched efficiency.

According to McLaren Design Director Frank Stephenson, the 12C Spider is essentially a racing car, which is not the case with other high-performance convertibles.

Stephenson noted that the 12C Spider has the same elegant and timeless style that distinguishes the McLaren 12C, but it has the added romance brought about by open-top driving. With its roof in place, the 12C Spider has the coupé sports car look, and with its roof down, it appears like it belongs on the French Riviera or on the Sunset Boulevard.

The Retractable Hard Top, which is lightweight but strong, was specifically designed for the McLaren 12C Spider. Meanwhile, the car’s two roof panels and its tonneau have the same composite material component used in the 12C’s body. Aside from being light and strong, this material allows for a high-standard paint finish. Completing the roof construction is the car’s heated rear glass.

A fully automatic mechanism lowers or raises the roof in under 17 seconds. It can be activated at up to 30 km/h (19 mph) of speed. This mechanism is controlled by a 2-position switch located on the cabin’s center panel.

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