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McLaren unveils the new 650S

Posted 9 months ago in British, Supercar News

Think of it as the illegitimate lovechild of the P1 and a 12C…

Following an unscrupulous leak by a national newspaper before the official embargo, McLaren has revealed full details of the car that slots between the 12C and P1 (and looks like their love child) – the 650S.

Set to be a rival to the Ferrari 458 Speciale, the 650S’s name refers to the power level in PS – that’s 641 bhp in proper numbers. That’s quite a rise from the 616 bhp of the standard 12C, along with a boost to 500 lb/ft of torque. This is achieved by modifications to the cylinder head, pistons and ECU and there are also mods to the gearbox to make shifts quicker and better controlled. The 0 – 62 mph time drops by 0.3 to 3.0 seconds and the 0 – 125 mph time drops to 8.4 seconds, on the way to the 207 mph top speed.

Visually the 650S doesn’t stand out as much as McLaren’s claims in our eyes – the rear end gets a black section, but other than that it’s identical to the 12C until you get to the front end. There is where the obvious P1 influences take over, with the front end closely resembling the hypercar. There are a set of boomerang shaped LED headlights and a carbon-centred intake section in the bumper than apes the aerodynamic P1. The new nose accounts for a 40% increase in downforce. There are lightweight alloy wheels in a new design and lots of carbon as standard.

McLaren claim that the 650S is more fun that the 12C – one of the bigger criticisms of the 12C is that it is too clinical so hopefully they can achieve this. But given that it allegedly offers so much more over the 12C for only £20,000 more, we can’t help thinking that a lot of 12C owners – already annoyed by savage depreciation on their supercars and used as development drivers by the factory – will be a bit annoyed by this 650S coming out as the car the 12C should always have been.

The 650S will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March alongside the 650S Spider and goes on sale this summer for £190,000.

Images courtesy of Autocar

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