McLaren 650S revealed as crazy flagship

Feb 17, 2014
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McLaren 650S revealed as crazy flagship

McLaren has revealed its latest supercar, the 650S, promising not only engaging and exciting driving but luxury too with a 641 HP twin-turbo V8 and borrowing styling cues from the sold-out McLaren P1. Set to debut officially at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the McLaren 650S - the S stands for "Sport", unsurprisingly - will be offered both as a coupe and a Spider with an electrically-retractable hardtop from this spring, sitting above the 12C.

The name refers to the car's power output, 650PS, and while McLaren isn't giving exact performance figures, it has said that the 650S will out-perform the 12C. Considering the existing car can do 0-62 mph in 3.3s and 0-100 mph in just 6.3s, with a 207 mph top speed, that's nothing to be sniffed at.

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Meanwhile, there's a new design language better merging the aero enhancements with the core shape of the car. LED headlamps borrow cues from the P1, while the front splitter has been integrated more cleanly but also increases downforce, McLaren promises. Door blades behind the front wheels help, and in fact the 650S supposedly musters 24-percent more downforce than the 12C at up to 150mph.

McLaren's Airbrake system also gets brought out again for the 650S, but is now more flexible in how it operates, intelligently deploying when the car senses more downforce is required. A new three-piece rear bumper borrows from the 12C GT3 special-edition.

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Then there's the ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension, a homegrown system which can switch between Normal, Sport, and Track modes for adjusting handling and ride. Interestingly, McLaren keeps it separate from the drivetrain, for more driver choice.

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Inside, once you're past the eye-catching gullwing doors, there's plenty of carbon fiber - plus the option of fixed-back carbon racing seats - plus the steering column automatically slides back to make getting in easier. A rear parking camera helps avoid crushing that expensive bumper on the curb, and there's IRIS sat-nav, Bluetooth streaming, digital radio (Sirius in North America; DAB in Europe), voice control, and more as standard.

McLaren isn't saying how much the 650S will cost when it goes on sale later this year, but with the 12C from around $230,000, don't expect it to be a city runaround.


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