Debuting in 2014, the McLaren 650S picked up where the 12C left off. In fact, with the same chassis and engine, the 650S could be seen more an updated 12C than its own model. But there are plenty of new features to justify the name. For starters, there is the new front-end design that marks a radical departure from its predecessor. Now looking like a mini-P1, the 650S was ready to take on the world. And it did just that, with performance numbers that kept pace with all but the most exotic hypercars in the world.
The Mechanicals of the McLaren 650S
Whether or not it should be a new model, the McLaren 650S is an animal. The aforementioned chassis is a high-tech carbon fibre tub. Being so lightweight, strong, and flexible, it’s no wonder McLaren were not inclined to ditch it. And while the engine is indeed the same 3.8-litre, twin-turbo’d V8 from the 12C, it possesses newfound power in this application.
Compared to the original 12C, horsepower is up nearly 50 to 641, while torque is up nearly 60 to 500 lb-ft. The lightning-quick 7-speed gearbox is carried over untouched as it is still capable of handling the power of the V8. And with a kerb weight of just 1,428 kg, the 650S is every so slightly lighter than its predecessor. It’s clear, then, that the new model was going to be better in every way than the 12C. And the 12C was not exactly a slouch.
Performance and Price
The McLaren 650S’s top speed is rated at 207mph, while the 0 to 62 acceleration is listed at a brisk 3.0 seconds. Those are some impressive numbers, even if they only mark a slight improvement over the 12C’s figures. The real changes lie in the driving dynamics of the car. Compared to the 12C, the responses have been sharpened. That includes faster steering, stickier cornering, and more breath-taking stops than before. That newfound athleticism is really what sells the 650S. And sell it did, with all 500 units sold out by 2017. That, despite the rather steep £195,000 asking price. And that’s before any of the pricey options were checked.