Posted Apr 10th 2014 11:57AM
McLaren's New Volume Seller Makes Evolution Look Sexy
It seems like only yesterday that we enjoyed a mad dash in McLaren's wild P1 hybrid wallet-breaker. Now here we are, already back with the Brits, this time in on the great roads of southern Spain and at Ascari Race Resort as McLaren launches what has already become its most important seller, the 650S. Available as both a US$265,500 coupe and as a US$280,225 roadster, we will focus hard here on the Spider since it's the greater conversation piece and will account for nearly ninety per cent of North American deliveries. The car's very first North American customers are taking delivery as you read this.
Though the 650S essentially takes what was offered in the original MP4-12C, pumps it all up and refines it nicely, this new member of the McLaren clan looks more like a P1, albeit one costing over three-quarters of a million dollars less than the real deal. Truth be told, 12C production ceased in January to allow 650S production to ramp up, and the new car will therefore serve as McLaren's entry-level model until its rumored Porsche 911- and Aston Martin V8 Vantage-rival comes along.
There were a handful of key things we hoped for in this new 650S: more power and torque than the 12C, a more finely tuned ride and handling balance no matter the H (handling) and P (powertrain) setting selected, more character from the bi-turbo V8's exhaust and a flashier, less banal design.
We're pleased to report that all of these issues have been addressed.