McLaren’s Gorgeous New Supercar Leaves Ferraris in the Dust
McLaren is on a tear. First they came out with the MP4-12C, finally giving Ferrari something to keep them up at night. Then came the P1, redefining the hypercar with a 903-horsepower hybrid that’s been bathing in accolades. And now this: the McLaren 650S.
If you’ve seen the 12C, then the 650S looks awfully familiar. That’s because it’s essentially the same car with a range of updates inside and out. But don’t think the 650S is a punt.
While the same twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V8 fitted to the 12C is mounted out back, it’s been upgraded with new internals and a fresh set of heads. That brings output up to 641 hp — a 25 hp bump over the 12C — and a 10 percent boost in torque, enough to get the 650S to 0-60 mph in three seconds flat and on to a top speed of 207 mph. Those are incremental increases compared to the 12C (0-60 in 3.1 seconds and a v-max of 204), but it makes sure the Ferrari 458 Italia won’t see anything but the 650S’ tail lights.
The exterior is an amalgamation of bits pulled from the amazing P1, including a new front end with swept back LED headlamps and larger air intakes. A new spoiler out back automatically senses when the car needs extra grip, and pops up to increase downforce — at 150 mph, it’s a 24 percent increase over the 12C.
While McLaren could’ve gone off and made the 650S a hardened track day weapon, they’ve erred on the side of civility, tweaking the adaptive suspension to improve feedback and handling, while fitting new five-spoke wheels with custom Pirelli tires and made carbon ceramic brakes standard.
Both a fixed roof and spider version will be available, and while pricing for the 650C hasn’t been announced yet, we’re hearing that it will command about a 10 percent premium over the 12C when it goes on sale later this year. And as McLaren expands their line up, there’s still rumblings about an “entry level” model that will do battle with the Porsche 911 — and that creation just can’t come quick enough.
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