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Geneva show: McLaren 650S blasts in

Hard top: The images released by McLaren only show a two-seater Coupe, but a Spider with a retractable hard-top roof will also debut at Geneva.

McLaren’s mid-range 650S supercar gets more power and torque than 12C donor car


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18 Feb 2014

MCLAREN has torn the covers off its new 650S Coupe ahead of its Geneva debut after leaked images found their way onto the internet.

The 650S is designed as the British sportscar-maker’s mid-range model sitting under its already sold-out 673kW/900Nm P1 hybrid hypercar and above the 12C Coupe and Spider.

Based on the 12C, the 650S is propelled by an uprated version of the mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 from its donor car with power increased from 460kW to 478kW, while torque is also up from 600Nm to a whopping 678Nm between 3000 and 7000rpm.

The 650S name refers to the metric horsepower of the sportscar (650PS), while the ‘S’ stands for Sport, which McLaren said in a statement helps to underline the “focus and developments made to handling, transmission, drivability and engagement”.

While McLaren has only released images of the Coupe, it is expected that a Spider variant with a retractable hard-top roof will also be on show in Geneva early next month.

The styling of the 650S is something of a mish-mash of two McLaren models, with the front end clearly taking cues from the larger P1, while the rear maintains the slatted tail-lights and spoiler of the 12C.

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said the design of the 650S is more than skin deep as it has an impact on the performance of the car.

“As always with McLaren, the new design is there for good engineering reasons” he said. “The newly designed front bumper improves downforce and steering turn-in. The high speed handling balance is now even better. The LED lights use less power and last longer.”

McLaren says the integrated front splitter ensures downforce is increased by 24 per cent, improving everything from steering feel and turn-in to agility and overall handling. Door ‘blades’ behind the front wheels direct air from the front splitter, helping improve grip and balance.

The mid-engined monster gains a new five-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheel design and it is fitted with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres – developed in partnership with McLaren – that the company says offers “optimized” roadholding and feedback.

McLaren’s active aerodynamcis already found on the 12C and P1 have been tweaked for the 650S, while its ‘ProActive Chassis Control’ suspension system with adjustable ride and handling modes including Normal, Sport and Track, has also been worked over for the new model.

While the company is promising supercar performance from the 650S, it said that the levels of standard luxury gear means it is not a “stripped out road racer”.

Features include DAB digital radio, Bluetooth phone and audio with voice control and ‘IRIS’ sat-nav, while options include a reversing camera, additional carbon fibre throughout the cabin, fixed-back carbon racing seats based on the ones from the P1 and an electric steering column that assists with entry and egress.

Further details including performance figures are expected to be released when the 650S debuts at Geneva next month, but UK pricing sits at £190,000 ($A350,000) when it goes on sale in Europe in the northern hemisphere Spring.

In May last year, McLaren announced price cuts in Australia of up to $100,000 for its 12C Coupe and Spider range, with the hard-top revised down to $390,000 plus on-roads, while the drop-top dropped to $441,780.

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