The Geneva Motor Show, to be held this March, has already confirmed another of its most expected protagonists: after Ferrari announced its new turbocharged California, for the Swiss event, McLaren has countered with the introduction of its new 650S.
The British manufacturer adds a third model to join the 12C, launched in 2011 and still on sale, and the exclusive P1, which sold, in just a few weeks after being introduced, the only 375 units produced by McLaren. The 650S comes to fill the gap between both of them: it will be placed above the 12C coupe and spider models, with a price starting at $275,000 (175,000 euros)—lower than the P1 whose price was about $1.4 million (1.02 million euros).
The 650S is named after the output power (650 PS) of its double V8 turbo engine manufactured by McLaren in metric horse power, which translated into horsepower total 641 hp, plus the “S” for sport or sportsmanship. To date, McLaren has not yet provided performance figures of this engine, which is located in a central position behind the cockpit.
Available in Coupe and Spider (convertible with an electronic folding hard top), the 650S reflects McLaren’s experience and expertise in Formula 1. Thus, its new supercar features advanced aerodynamic features: a rear spoiler that increases the aerodynamics load and is reversed to operate as an airbrake (as in the 12C, which deploys when the car needs additional aerodynamic support), or the improved Pro Active Chassis Control adaptive suspension, which allows drivers to adjust between Normal, Sport and Track driving modes.
“We want to innovate, to be the benchmark among competitors and bring new technologies to the market. That’s where our Formula 1 tradition and experience stands out”, said Mike Flewitt, executive director of the British company. ”Everything we’ve learned from the 12C and P1 has been extrapolated to the design and development of the McLaren 650S.”
Regarding its features, there is no doubt it will come armed to the teeth, equipped with a full IRIS navigation system, DAB digital radio, audio streaming and voice control, among other technologies. There will also be lots of options, including the seats and other details in the passenger compartment, made of carbon fiber, a rear park assist camera and electric steering.
McLaren has announced that the new 650S will go on sale this spring, but has not given dates and prices. However, we are sure the Geneva event will give us more clues. And once it reaches the market, the Ferrari 458 Speciale will be waiting as the great rival to beat, with 605 hp and a starting price of $375,000 (273,000 euros). ■