All About the 2015 McLaren 650S


McLaren will be adding the 650S to their growing selection of cars and the 12C will also be available and therefore competing with Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari at the very top of the Supercar market. The 650S will be more expensive and more powerful than the 12C but this is not likely to put buyers off. It is expected that people will want to go for the new model, wanting the best available at this end of the market. It has been found that people who buy Supercars want the latest and the best. The 12C matched the Ferrari 458 in many ways and actually beat it in some ways. However, there are some new cars on the market such as the Lamborghini Huracan and the 458 Speciale which are threatening it as they have many great functions. The 650S is trying to get above these in the attraction stakes and with the 650 in its name which refers to the 650PS (650Hp) so that it is obvious what it is capable of. The engineering team at McLaren have revealed what the car is capable of. It is not just a 12C with more power. They say that it is a car that they would have wished to build to start with. There were problems though with the 12C which they will hope to avoid this time. The navigation and audio system problems that they had on top of others were not good for those high end buyers who expect nothing but the best. With the inside being uncluttered it did not impress those buyers who liked lots of gadbets. In 2012 when the 12c launches it had modifications that were based on customer feedback. The changes were then made to the model and earlier coupes were also upgraded software wise to give them extra horsepower. McLaren also introduced a P1 hybrid hypercar in a limited edition of 375, all of which sold. This was said to be a sign of the future with regards to styling according to Frank Stephenson, the design director. The car was very functional in shape which was very different to the bland style of the 12C. When Stephenson joined the company he fixed the style of the 12C. He has been waiting for more new products to get his teeth in to so that he can put his ideas in to them. However, it does look like the 650S is the 12C with a facelift and so it does not really show any new design skills. It has LED headlamps in an arc shape on the front which are in the shape of the McLaren logo. There are bigger air intakes and air ducts are different and have a contrasting carbon fibre panel. There are aerodynamic improvements as well with a change in body shape that increases downforce by 40% when at 150mph. The size, weight and specification is the same as the 12C but the MonoCell backbone has been changed so that the carbon fibre structure is 7lbs lighter than the original. The Head of Product Development, Mark Vinnels says that there have been 25% more new components to make the required changes compared to the 12C. The emphasis on the car is on driving though. There is a 3.8 litre engine, twin turbo V8 which provides 641 horsepower. There has been an increase in torque from 443 to 500lb/ft which is available from 4000 rpm. This does bring a significant increase in performance. This has been achieved by changes to the variable valve timing, cooling systems, pistons and cylinder heads. The 0-60mph is now achievable in less than three seconds and in just 8.4 seconds it can go from 0 to 124 mph. The maximum speed is 207mph which is the same as the 12C. The gear box is seven speeds with dual clutch and it has also been refined. This is said to improve the shift smoothness, performance and drivability. In Sport mode there is a difference in the engine where it will cut two of the cylinders for 30ms on part throttle upshifts and then in track mode there is an inertia push available when higher than 5000rpm which will use energy stored. There has been much praise for the updates to the 12C and the changes in the 650S will allow for better response when turning and higher cornering speeds. There will also be stiffer dampers and springs which will allow body control to be easier but do not change the ride comfort which is something that has made the 12C stand out from other Supercars. The engineers have claimed that the brake –steer feature is available at higher speeds and mid corner if necessary as so is more effective. The Drag Reduction System used in Formula 1 is what has caused the change to the deployable wing slash air brake. This starts at a 25 percent angle but will level out if driving in a straight line, under full acceleration in Aero mode or at higher speeds, The 12C has the option of Pire;li P Zero Corsa tyres as well as carbon ceramic brakes. But the 650S is different with V-specasymmetric Corsas on aluminium wheels and the carbon brakes are standard. The interior criticisms of the 12C have been noted with the design of the 650S to some extent. There is faux suede inside with contrast stitching and a polished carbon fibre steering wheel and console. There is a full leather option and also the option of a backup camera and adjustable steering column. There will be a 650S Spider with a folding hardtop with the same features and performance as the coupe version. The production will start this month in the Mclaren factory in Woking. The price will be announced next month at the Geneva Auto Show where the car will be debuted. It is expected that it could be 10% dearer than the 12C at a price of $265,000. McLaren claim that the car is a stand alone one. However, it does share a lot with the 12C and so it is hard to think that it is an independent vehicle rather than just a disguised 12C.


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