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Hot McLaren 650S cracks 100km/h in 3.0 seconds

Quick and comfy: McLaren's new 650S puts 478kW down through just two-wheels, gets to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds and has a good selection of cabin comforts.

McLaren releases tech specs for 650S ahead of Geneva unveiling


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28 Feb 2014

BRITISH supercar builder McLaren has announced full performance figures for its new MP4-12C-based 650S, headlined by a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 3.0 seconds dead and a top speed of 333km/h.

The secret to making the angry Brit one of the the fastest-accelerating cars on the planet its re-worked 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 from the 12C, that produces 478kW (up 37kW) and 678Nm (up 78Nm). Kerb weight is cut 6kg to 1330kg.

The lightning sprint time undercuts the already Ferrari 458-bashing 12C by three-tenths, and is seven-tenths faster than the hi-po Lamborghini Gallardo LP650. It also beats the more frugal Porsche 911 Turbo S by 0.1s, though cannot touch the 2.8s Nissan GT-R.

Advanced aerodynamics allow the 650S to power on to 200km/h in a rapid 8.4 seconds whilst maintaining “enhanced handling, high-speed balance and steering turn-in… from improved levels of downforce”.

Large 394mm carbon/ceramic front brake discs (smaller rotors out back) sit inside 19-inch wheels and work in conjunction with air-braking active downforce to haul the McLaren down from 300km/h to standstill in (271m), or less than the length of two football ovals. From 100km/h it can scrub to zero in an eye-popping 30 metres.

Those impressive performance figures don’t come at a cost to comfort either because the McLaren is equipped with satellite navigation, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a reverse camera and even an electrically adjustable steering column.

With the latest offering, McLaren is honouring the philosophy of “no compromise” on speed or luxury that it first laid-down with the iconic F1 of some 20 years ago.

Thanks to similar meticulous attention to weight-saving and comfort, the F1 pioneered innovations in road-car engineering such as gold heat-reflectors, aluminium stereo speaker magnets and hyper-expensive Inconel exhaust manifolds – design features that helped it retain the production car top-speed record for more than a decade.

Performance-sapping weight is avoided in the 650S with the liberal use of carbon-fibre, aluminium front and rear frames and fixed position carbon-fibre seats covered in Alcantara.

The newest McLaren can’t quite match the almost unbelievable abilities of its P1 hybrid stablemate, which sprints to 100km/h in 2.8s courtesy of a hybrid 3.8 twin-turbo V8 engine/electric motor drive-train with a combined output of 637kW/900Nm.

McLaren has yet to confirm the 650S for Australia. But if it does come Down Under it may carry a similar 22 per cent premium over the 12C as it does in the UK. That would set Australian 650S prices in the region of $445,000 for the Coupe and $488,000 for the open-top Spider.

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