The 650S is part of McLaren Automotive’s Super Series, and therefore is an extremely fast. Just like every supercar the company has ever built it has scissordoors, it’s a two-seater based on a carbon fibre structure called the Monocell and uses a version of the 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 petrol engine known internally as the M838T.
McLaren 650S costs around £200,000!
- You can have it either with or without roof
The 650S is sold in two body styles. The Spider has a removable roof while the Coupe has a fixed roof. Unlike other convertibles, the Spider’s Monocell structure is so stiff that it’s not greatly affected by whether the car has a roof or not.
- More about Monocell
It is made of carbon fibre, a material the company has been using to build road and race cars for over 30 years. The same material makes the car lighter (at 75kg), stiffer and stronger than it would be if it were constructed using steel or aluminium.
- Investigating the engine
McLaren and the West Sussex firm of Ricardo developed the M838T engine jointly. At 3.8 litres it’s not large for a supercar. The same unit appears in different states of tune in different McLaren models. The 650S’s name comes from the 650PS output used here, which translates into 641bhp.
- The performance is exceptional
The 650S can accelerate to 62mph in exactly three seconds from a standstill, to 124mph in under nine and to 186 in less than half a minute. The top speed of 207mph for the Coupe and 204mph for the Spider. On full throttle the transmission switches from one gear to the next dramatically quickly and the scream of the high-revving engine is quite thrilling. On the other hand, the ability of the 650S to go quickly in a straight line, is not its best feature, as we’re going to see.
- It’s friendlier than it sounds
It roars into life when you switch it on and rumbles aggressively even at idle. You don’t have to drive it for more than a few yards before realising that the steering is super-accurate, the traction is tremendous and the ride quality is fantastic.
- The brakes are superb
The brake system features carbon-ceramic discs. Besides the tremendous deceleration, the driver may feel a slight twitchiness, but no more than you’d expect in a car with a light front end.
- The doors are rather dramatic
Scissor doors have been here for a long time, but they’re still rare enough to be an object of fascination. Sports Series McLarens have narrower sills which make entries and exits easier. The problem with any is that doors opens above roof level and that won’t work if you land upside down.
- You wouldn’t buy it for particularity
Almost all the space behind the driver and passenger is taken up by mechanical components, the luggage compartment is in the nose. This means it’s compromised by the steering, wheels and suspension. By nearly all standards 150 litres are not exactly generous, but it’s actually more room than you’ll find in the boot of a Mazda MX-5.
- Inside the 650S
It can easily accommodate two adults at least six foot five in height. The interior is nicely made, and upholstered in characteristic high-quality leather. The standard seats are very supportive and all instruments are digital besides the analogue revcounter. The graphics on this panel and the central touchscreen are effective and clear, but they’re not particularly beautiful. The general sense is that the company has spent a lot more time on driving dynamics than on interior ergonomics.
- The warranty can last up to twelve years
the 650S is eligible for the Extended Warranty Package ss well as all the other cars in the McLaren range.