It’s been teased, it’s been leaked, but here it is, the McLaren 650S. The 650S is not considered the “baby McLaren”, the car set to rival the Porsche 911 but rather an upgraded to the 12C. The 650S will be better than the 12C but will of course sit below the P1. To make it more clear, the 650S was described by McLaren as its fastest, most engaging, best equipped and most beautiful series-production supercar yet.
It uses an upgraded version of the 12C’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, by adding an extra 40 hp to put it at 650 metric hp, giving it the name. It has a blazing speed of 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 207mph, keeping it ahead of the Ferrari 458 Italia as well. You’ll notice the front end draws heavily on the P1. The lights are now LED and there are larger air intakes both in the nose and the front of the rear wheels. This not only aids cooling but also contributes to the 650S’s improved aerodynamics.
The 650S boasts the same drag coefficient as the 12C, but produces 24 percent more down force at 150mph. The 650S uses the same adaptive damping system as the 12C. The spring rates have been increased to improve driver engagement. McLaren says there’s no loss of comfort, with the steering feedback and brake feel improving over the already stellar 12C.There are new five-spoke alloy Pirelli tires and the option for carbon race seats.
The 650S doesn’t replace the 12C, it tops it. And it is only £20,000 more than the 12C’s asking price. Why would anyone get the 12C when they could have the 650S? This will become more apparent when the 650S Coupe and Spider make their official debut at the Geneva show in early March.