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McLaren adds another supercar

New 650S Coupé and Spider to slot above 12C in McLaren lineup

Published: February 17, 2014, 8:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:46 PM

McLaren Automotive will reveal yet another addition to its supercar lineup at the return Geneva Motor Show next month.

Called the 650S, it is said to be McLaren's fastest, most engaging, best equipped and most beautiful series-production supercar yet.

The 650S joins the 12C and already sold-out P1 (currently making its Canadian debut at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto) in the McLaren lineup.

It will be available as a fixed-roof coupé or as a Spider, with a retractable folding hard top.

Its 650S designation refers to the power output – 650PS (641 bhp) – of the British-built McLaren M838T twin-turbo V-8 engine, with ‘S’ standing for ‘Sport’.

Performance figures will be revealed ahead of the Geneva Show but will improve on the already rapid 12C which continues on sale, the company says.

The design is said to be inspired by the McLaren P1, previewing a new family design language.

An integrated front splitter contributes to increased levels of downforce, giving 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.

Unique door blades behind the front wheels direct air from the trailing edges of the front splitter, further benefiting front-end grip and vehicle balance.

The aerodynamic performance of the McLaren 650S is as efficient as the 12C, with the same drag coefficient figure, but at 240 km/h, downforce levels are increased by 24 percent.

"As always with McLaren, the new design is there for good engineering reasons," says McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt. "The newly designed front bumper improves downforce and steering turn-in. The high speed handling balance is now even better. The LED lights use less power and last longer."

New design five-spoke lightweight forged ‘650S’ alloy wheels are unique to the model, fitted with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. The bespoke ‘MC1’ branded tyres have been developed alongside the 650S by Pirelli, for both normal road conditions and the track.

Active aerodynamics, which feature on both the 12C and McLaren P1, have been further developed and honed for the 650S. The McLaren Airbrake, originally fitted to the 12C and 12C Spider, deploys whenever the car senses extra downforce is advisable – rather than simply under braking or when manually operated in ‘Aero’ mode.

The pioneering ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system provides the ability to adjust the ride and handling modes – Normal / Sport / Track – in isolation from the drivetrain.

While the McLaren 650S is designed to be the best and most engaging driver’s car in its class, ride comfort and refinement are to executive sedan standards, the company says.

Standard features include IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, SIRIUS satellite radio, wireless tethering, audio streaming and voice control.

Options include fixed-back carbon racing seats, based on the lightweight design found in the McLaren P1, an electric steering column adjustment assisting ingress and egress, a rear parking camera and extended carbon fibre throughout the interior.

The global reveal of the McLaren 650S Coupé and Spider will take place on Tuesday, March 4, at the 84th Geneva Motor Show.