McLaren 650S dials up performance and excitement
McLaren Automotive has now released images and full information for the convertible version of its latest model, the McLaren 650S, unveiled at the 84th International Geneva Motor Show. Indeed, McLaren Automotive returned to the International Geneva Motor Show this year with its fastest, most engaging, best equipped and most beautiful series-production supercar yet. The McLaren 650S promises to redefine the high performance supercar segment, and has been designed and developed to provide the ultimate in driver engagement on the road and on the race track.
The McLaren 650S Spider is mechanically identical to the 650S Coupé and is fitted with the unique McLaren M838T twin turbo V8 engine, producing 650PS (641 bhp) and 678 Nm (500 lb ft). This means a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of 3.0 seconds, identical to the Coupé, and 200 km/h (124 mph) is reached in 8.6 seconds, only 0.2 seconds shy of the fixed-head model. Maximum speed is 329 km/h mph (204 mph). Fuel consumption and emissions remain the same for the 650S Spider, returning 24.2 mpg (11.7 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle and 275 g/km.
The unique M838T 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 has undergone significant changes for the McLaren 650S. To produce the required levels of performance and throttle response, new pistons and cylinder heads have been designed, new exhaust valves have been fitted and the cooling circuits have been optimised.
Driver engagement and superior throttle response are the key characteristics set out for the McLaren 650S models. First and foremost, the goal was to design and develop the ultimate everyday driver’s car on road and track. ‘We wanted the best possible connectivity between driver and car,’ notes Engineering Director Carlo Della Casa. Fast and smooth gearshifts were developed for this priority. Moreover, three different powertrain settings are available – Normal, Sport and Track. All have been calibrated specifically for the McLaren 650S, to enhance driver engagement and feel, and are especially noticeable in Sport mode.
As standard, the McLaren 650S has a performance set up with carbon ceramic brakes fitted behind a new alloy wheel design, shod with bespoke Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa. Close collaboration with Pirelli, the exclusive tyre technology partner of McLaren, saw the development of the ‘MC1’ branded tyres integrated into the engineering programme for the McLaren 650S to ensure optimised performance in all situations, and tyres that provide superior roadholding, ride comfort and ability.
In short, the McLaren 650S offers the widest breadth of capabilities of any supercar.
The new design of the the 650S is inspired by the McLaren P1™, showcasing a new family design language for the brand. More importantly, the new look follows the McLaren design ethos of ‘form follows function’, with the front bumper providing a dramatic, yet clean, appearance while the integrated front splitter contributes to increased levels of downforce. A more pronounced integrated front splitter, available in carbon fibre as an option, gives a greater level of steering feeling and confidence to the driver on turn-in, while also adding to the agility and the car’s handling balance.
The dramatic exterior styling includes full LED headlamps derived from the McLaren P1™. These provide a distinctive illumination of the road ahead, and echo the signature McLaren ‘speed marque’ logo in the design. The bonnet is finished with a new McLaren badge, inspired by the badge fitted to the iconic McLaren F1. The rear of the McLaren 650S has been designed to optimise aerodynamics, with a 12C GT3-inspired three-piece bumper.
Despite its sporty, high performance capability, the McLaren 650S is no stripped-out hardcore racer. The interior is the most refined and luxuriously appointed production McLaren model to date. Indeed, the 650S Coupé and 650 Spider models are fitted with a high level of luxury equipment as standard. Carbon ceramic brakes sit behind unique ‘650’ lightweight alloy wheels shod with Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres, IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, DAB digital radio in Europe (SIRIUS satellite radio in North America), wireless tethering, audio streaming and voice control are all fitted as standard, and the cabin is fully trimmed in Alcantara.
From launch, the McLaren 650S is available in the full range of exterior body colours, including four new hues developed with technology partner AkzoNobel – Storm Grey, Aurora Blue and Mantis Green are added to the ‘Special’ palette, while Tarocco Orange joins the ‘Elite’ paint collection.
McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said : ‘The new design gives important engineering and driver benefits. Yet it’s not just about improving the numbers. The McLaren 650S also dials up the design drama and driving excitement.’