Ever since McLaren warned us that there would be a surprise at the Geneva Motor Show, we have been looking at Woking with some expectation, and even enthusiasm. And we will tell you why. We know that McLaren has an ambitious project, a meticulous plan with which to measure ourselves against what we consider to be the benchmarks of the highest performance. An access sports coupe, a 911; a mid-engined beast, what we mean by a Ferrari or a Lamborghini with all its letters; a hypercar, with the halo of Enzo, LaFerrari, etcetera …
And then, when we learned that the McLaren 650S was nothing more than an improved version of the McLaren 12C with the face of McLaren P1, more handsome and faster, we could be disappointed, but also bewildered. What about the 12C? Would you say goodbye to us at the tender age of three?
The answer is already official. The McLaren 650S has replaced the McLaren 12C, which will no longer be manufactured from now on. But this will not surprise anyone. McLaren wasted no time in realizing that for a minimal difference, what a well-equipped Volkswagen Golf costs, according to UK prices, its customers were already only closing reservations for the new bad boy of the neighborhood, the 650S.
What is 20,000 pounds difference for which is willing to spend 200,000 in a sports car. Small change. Nor will I be less objective in recognizing that the aesthetics of the McLaren 650S is extraordinarily attractive, forceful, faithful to that modern and technological image that McLaren wants to convey, coming from the pens of Frank Stephenson and his team.
That front so characteristic of the McLaren 650S has made me fall in love, although if I saw it through the rear view mirror of the car I would have some doubts, it would be hard for me to know if a P1 or a 650S is chasing me. In any case there will be no problem, as soon as your driver touches the accelerator lightly he will have passed me and I will be able to see his behind, an area that, although it is true has changed, still maintains some of the unmistakable features of the 12C. In that rear, by the way, we find a huge upgraded active spoiler that McLaren says increases the downforce at 240 km / h by 24%.
And while I have mixed feelings about the way McLaren has replaced the sports car that brought about the rebirth or rather the true birth of this sports car brand, I firmly believe that the McLaren 650S makes sense. A lot of sense.
When you invest more than 200,000 euros in a sports car, you are in a position to demand. McLaren did a superb job with its first model, the one we knew back then as MP4-12C. But he was not exempt from criticism, from those who said he lacked that passion for the Mediterranean. Also of those who saw in him, that in his desire to achieve an effective machine in sports conditions hand in hand with technology and very suitable for day to day, McLaren had not managed to capture the ease and the touch of madness that brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini always know how to give their products.
Deep down, anyone who decides on a McLaren is very clear about their choice and it is probably not the only high-flying sports car they have in their garage. But in any case, the McLaren 650S comes to solve the doubts of those who might wonder if they really had made a good choice, overcome any chance of regret for not choosing the Ferrari alternative, Lamborghini, some 911 with the initials GT or even, without leaving the islands, an Aston Martin.
Comparing it with the Huracán is not honest, the all-wheel drive of the Lamborghini brings other incentives. Compare it to a Ferrari 458 Italia or Speciale, it is not entirely fair either, atmospheric eight cylinders versus
six eight more turbocharged than ever. But precisely in that bet on rear-wheel drive, turbo and technology to dose those benefits in abundance, is where the strength of this new McLaren 650S can lie, which from the cold analysis of the figures, also wins.
44 HP more power than a Ferrari 458 Speciale, which it wins in maximum speed (333 km / h) and with which it is equated in 0 to 100 km / h (3.0 seconds). Tons of torque, much more than what a Huracán can offer with its engine V10. The Lamborghini cannot do anything against the McLaren either, not even relying on its four-wheel drive. But the difference is most noticeable in the quarter mile, in the first kilometer, or in the time it takes the 650S to reach 200 km / h from a standstill.
In just 8.4 seconds per sprint, the time it takes a McLaren 650S to overcome the 200 km / h barrier, the Briton will already be taking several bodies out of the Ferrari, 7 tenths slower to reach this speed.
In short, what was said. A better looking, faster and more spectacular McLaren, with a minimal price difference, what a Volkswagen Golf costs. Why the McLaren 650S? It was clear. Because they wanted to see the beasts of Maranello in the rearview …