The new McLaren 650S graced the British company’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show and we now have the full details. Available in both coupé and Spider guise, the 12C-based 650S goes toe-to-toe with Ferrari’s 458 Speciale while retaining the 12C’s comfort and refinement.
The “650” in its name gives a hint about the car’s performance – 650 PS (641 hp), which the reworked 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged M838T V8 engine produces at 7,250 rpm, while peak torque is now 678 Nm at 6,000 rpm. That is an increase of 25 PS and 78 Nm over the 12C. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been retained, but tweaked for faster, smoother shifts.
The exterior has been redesigned for better aerodynamic performance, including a P1-esque front end with a larger front splitter, door “blades” ahead of the front wheels, larger side intakes for increased cooling as well as a new three-piece rear bumper inspired by the 12C GT3 racer.
In addition, the rear spoiler – which on the 12C could only flip up as an air brake or extend manually via the “Aero” mode – can now also move up automatically when the car senses extra downforce is needed, or down to cut drag when accelerating in a straight line. All these improvements add up to 24% increase in downforce at 241 km/h, while retaining the same drag coefficient as the 12C.
Meanwhile, the chassis has been retuned to dial up driver excitement – with tweaks to improve steering and braking feel as well as delay the ESP’s intervention – but the better suspension components also had the side effect of actually improving on the 12C’s already impressive ride and refinement. Carbon ceramic brakes and Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres (a bespoke “MC1” spec for the 650S) are now fitted as standard
Inside, the 650S retains the 12C’s creature comforts. You still get a fully-trimmed interior (Alcantara upholstery is standard), an IRIS infotainment system with Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and navigation as well as air-conditioning. Options include a rear-view camera, an electric steering column as well as one-piece carbon fibre racing seats inspired by those on the P1.
Despite this, the 650S coupé has a dry weight of just 1,330 kg (1,301 kg with lightweight options such as the aforementioned seats), six kilograms lighter than the 12C and only 40 kg heavier than the completely stripped-out Speciale. Performance therefore becomes properly insane: the 650S coupé whips to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, 200 km/h in – are you sitting down – 8.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 333 km/h.
The Spider, retaining the 12C Spider’s folding hard top, is a little heavier at 1,370 kg, but it is still not what you would call slow – it does 0-100 km/h in the same time as the coupé, 0-200 km/h in 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 329 km/h.
The McLaren 650S comes with three new colour choices – Storm Grey, Aurora Blue seen on the coupé in these pictures, Mantis Green and Tarocco Orange as on the Spider show car. In the UK, prices will start at £195,250 (RM1,066,000) for the coupé and £215,250 (RM1,175,200) for the Spider.
Live pix by Stefan Baldauf / Robert Kah