Open version of McLaren's 650S supercar almost matches the coupé's performance, costs £20,000 more

The new McLaren 650S Spider was unveiled at the Geneva motor show. Mechanically identical to the McLaren 650S, the Spider costs £215,250 and has a solid folding roof, just like the 12C Spider.

It weighs only 40kg more than the coupé but offers near-identical performance, zero to 62mph taking 3.0sec and 0-100mph taking an F1-demolishing 5.7sec (we recorded 6.3sec in the old timer when we road tested it in 1994). 

Top speed is the far side of 200mph while emissions and economy are actually a touch better than in the 12C – impressive considering the gains in both power and torque.

As many as 25 per cent of the parts are new compared with the McLaren 12C Spider. Carbon ceramic brakes become standard fitment, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox has been tweaked to deliver more responsiveness and so has the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, which now produces 641bhp and 500lb ft of torque between 3000-7000rpm.

But most important of all, claims McLaren, the character of the car has become considerably more hardcore, without levels of refinement being significantly affected.

As such, there's more engine noise than in the 12C, the brakes have more feel (particularly under light loads), the suspension is more urgent in its response and turn-in is considerably more incisive as a result, says McLaren. There's also the option of new sports seats, which are lifted virtually unchanged out of the P1.

McLaren says that, despite obvious comparisons, the 650S coupé and Spider aren't direct rivals for the Ferrari 458 Speciale as the car isn't intended to be quite as focused.

Read more Geneva motor show news.

Our Verdict

McLaren 650S

The latest addition to McLaren's line-up may be based on the 12C, but this is a whole new ball-game

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Comments
4

4 March 2014
With lessons from how well the P1 handles built into this facelift I'm sure this will be fantastic to drive and hopefully will have gotten rid of some of the understeer that testers complained of and allow the chassis to be a little more entertaining.

I'm not sure on the styling though - I can see how integrating the P1's nose helps coalesce the range, but the transition from a soft organically lined front to a more angular rear doesn't sit quite right in my eyes for some reason.

4 March 2014
while most mortals are happy with 0-62mph in 8 or so seconds!

IAD

5 March 2014
I like the P1 styling but this does not sit well with me. The front detail just below the number plate looks wrong. But a great engineered car no doubt.

8 March 2014
Least they have the guts to have a real carbon chassis in the 200k range.......Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche sure as hell don't. Ok so it's looks might not be the taste of everyone......but hey, either are Ferrari , Lamborghini or Porsche designs. I can't stand the sight of these three so I would the choose the Mclaren any day of the week. However if I was in the design department I would change a few things to improve the asthetics.......

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