British supercar maker’s new model is one of the stars of the Swiss show.
McLaren has kindly brought both the Coupe and Spider variants of the 650S to Geneva for our viewing pleasure. Named after the metric horsepower the 3.8-liter turbo V8 generates, with ‘S’ standing for ‘Sport,’ the 650S comes with modified cylinder heads and pistons, as well as a revised ECU to deliver 641 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto box with quicker, better-controlled gearshifts, the 650S can rocket from 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds (down from 3.3) and top speed climbs from 205 to 207 mph.
Compared to the 12C, the 650S is a half second faster to 124 mph. The standing quarter mile happens in 10.5 seconds, while the 650S is a full second quicker than the iconic F1 road car to 124 mph and 0.6 sec faster over the standing quarter mile. Unique design features include a new front bumper and more integrated front splitter that offers increased downforce and better steering feel on turn-ins. Standard gear includes new five-spoke lightweight alloys wrapped in bespoke Pirelli rubber, P1-inspired LED headlights, an Alcantara-clad interior, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a new screen-based audio system.
At the rear, a newly developed Airbrake system, designed to optimize rear downforce, now employs whenever the car senses it is needed, instead of whenever the driver brakes or when manually operated in ‘Aero’ mode. Below, a three-piece bumper similar to the GT3 racing variant is another feature of the car’s aerodynamic styling.