Hotter 12C-based supercar to get public debut in March, with 641bhp on tap from its twin-turbo V8 engine
Steve Cropley Autocar
12 February 2014

McLaren has previewed its third supercar, dubbed 650S, ahead of the Geneva motor show with a preview shot showing the model’s name badge.

The 650S will be a new production model based on the 12C, featuring extensive styling changes, including a P1-style nose, and will be engineered to have more character than the existing car. 

The ‘650’ name is thought to refer to the 650ps (641bhp) output of the tweaked twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine. By comparison, the standard car gets 616bhp from the same powerplant, with a top speed of 204mph and a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds.

Two versions will be available, one with a ‘carbon kit’ to further distinguish the car’s looks. Sources say a 12C replacement, which will be heavily influenced by the 650S, will be shown later this year. The new model is destined to rival the Ferrari 458 Speciale, which has 597bhp on tap from its V8 engine.

Official pricing for the 650S has yet to be announced, but it's likely to cost around £20,000 more than the £176,000 12C coupé. It's expected that most buyers in the UK will opt for the new model over the standard 12C when it goes on sale.

The introduction of the 650S means McLaren's product portfolio continues to grow. As well as its current crop of models, the company is also working on an entry-level model to rival the Porsche 911, dubbed P13, and a new supercar to sit between the 12C and P1, named P15.

Read more Geneva motor show news.

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McLaren 12C

The McLaren 12C has extraordinary pace and handling, but is a touch clinical

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Comments
7

TS7

12 February 2014
...but even I can't help but wonder if this isn't squeezing a little too much from the same basic architecture. I really don't think a souped-up 12C is worthy of being designated a separate model either. Whilst admiring McLarens vision and ambitions, I'd like to see some different styling and mechanical solutions. I don't mean the hideous X1 either, although at least the owner was to blame; can't fault McLaren for doing his bidding and pocketing the cash.

13 February 2014
I said it before, but Porsche for years had this model plan, based on one car but with variants sold as models in their own right ( Compare 911 to 959 ). Mercedes C200s and C63s are hardly in the same price range and so are hardly one model. And Harley Davidson used the same marketing approach for years quite successfully. If there are buyers, why not?

IAD

13 February 2014
Whilst I agree on the styling (get rid of Frank Stephenson and bring in Donato Coco) I would hardly call their architecture basic. This car has 641bhp, does well over 200 mph, 0-60mph in around 3 secs, weighs around 1.4 tons and a full carbonfibre chassis with a ride that matches the best luxury cars out there and it's brilliant on track as well as on roads. What more can you want? Anything more you might as well get yourself a P1.

TS7

13 February 2014
IAD wrote:

I would hardly call their architecture basic.

Saying 'the same basic architecture' is not the same thing as saying 'the architecture is basic'!

13 February 2014
TS7 wrote:
IAD wrote:

I would hardly call their architecture basic.

Saying 'the same basic architecture' is not the same thing as saying 'the architecture is basic'!

McLaren is a small company. They're not backed by a large scale manufacturer such as VW or Fiat. They've taken a carbon tub and used it as the basis of different models. The same reason why they've kept with the 3.8 litre V6 engine.

IAD

13 February 2014
TS7 wrote:
IAD wrote:

I would hardly call their architecture basic.

Saying 'the same basic architecture' is not the same thing as saying 'the architecture is basic'!

My bad. I stand corrected. But what I was trying to say is they can squeeze as much from this basic architecture for the next decade and they will still be ahead of it's rivals in terms of technology used in this car. I mean the P1 uses the same basic architecture as the 12C and look what they managed to squeeze out of it? God knows what else they could produce if they continue squeezing?

13 February 2014
All these wealthy buyers who help Road test the tech for us poor people!

Peter Cavellini.

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