Saturday, April 5, 2014

McLaren 650S

After spending three years with the 12C and last year with the limited-edition hybrid-engine wielding hypercar, the McLaren P1, the McLaren Automotive portfolio opened a new chapter by launching their newest supercar that McLaren says it sits between the 12C and the P1 but who cares? Even though this is a new supercar with a new name, the brand new 650S is the result of what happens when you give the 12C the front of the P1 and some new updates on it.

2015 McLaren 650S

So, what's it all about the newest creation from Woking, Surrey? I rather fancy the naming because look at that name...6-50-S...it sounds more like it came from the pages of science fiction books but with a bit of flair on it. Even though it sounds as fancy as Downton Abbey meets Mortal Kombat or maybe Namco vs. Capcom, the name 650S refers to the power output because even though it comes with the same 3.8L V8 Twin Turbo engine as the 12C, it develops 641HP of power output. That's more than what you get from the Ferrari 458 Speciale or the Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 and with such power, the 650S feels like it's on a class of its own. Not the bottom class or the middle class but a class of its own for the Woking newcomer that looks like a mashup of two of the greatest machines in McLaren history. It can do 0-60mph in under three seconds and a top speed of a dramatic 207mph, similar to the 458 Speciale and the Huracan even though those three are rigged with 7-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Although it may have the face of the P1, McLaren says that this is their new signature design and it seems that future McLaren sportscars will have that P1 look from now on because while the P1 is one of the best hybrid hypercars in history, it sold out quickly just as when it was reviewed by Top Gear Magazine or when Jeremy Clarkson tried one in Spa-Francorchamps so they decided to give their cars the same magic from the P1 and here's the result of all this brilliant experience they felt from the P1.

Of course, being a supercar, it has to be rough and tough as like playing a futuristic first-person shooter game in a ultra high difficulty setting in order to experience the thrills ahead but here on the 650S, it's as well-balanced and as refined like a British luxo barge cruising around Pemberley. It's majestic to drive, it fares well on the normal roads, and on track days...this is the one to have. There's loads of Formula One tech rigged on the 650S to give this car the same experience as a Formula One car because McLaren spent several man hours to incorporate their motorsports pedigree on their cars and for a fun fact, Jenson Button is one of the contributors to the 650S.

There's also a 650S Spider variant as well and although it offers the same thrills as the Coupe version, this open-top version sure looks come in handy for the long journey on the open road. However, since convertibles are heavier than their hardtop equivalents due to the rigidity needs, the 650S Spider is no exception. While the 650S coupe weighs around 1330kg, the Spider weighs 40kg more and as a result, top speed is dropped by 4mph but the 0-60mph time still at three seconds. Despite the added weight, it's still worth enjoyable to drive and when this car come face to face with the 458 Spider, it blows it away like exploding hydrogen bubbles from your head.

The 650S starts at £195,250 while its Spider version is £20k more and that's a lot to pay for a car that is more of an updated version of the 12C but for the sheer driving pleasure it delivers, I have to say that the 650S truly won my heart more than the 12C or the 458. Not only it looks great, it drives better and it doubles as a daily driver. You can use it to drive at the shops but as a warning, this is worthy of being a show off because it draws more crowds than a hot celebrity tripped on a red carpet premiere.

This car is a worthy contender of being one of the best cars of 2014 but frankly, I don't hold much hope because of the steep competition but I'm sure the 650S can manage this so here's a toast for Great Britain for now...

Available colors: Blue, Silver, Pearl White, Supernova Silver, Ice Silver, Fire Black, Volcano Orange, Volcano Red, Volcano Yellow, Tarocco Orange, Titanium Silver, Carbon Black, Sapphire Black, McLaren Orange, Storm Grey, Aurora Blue, and Mantis Green.

Photo: McLaren Automotive

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