Currently reading: McLaren 650S Spider joins supercar range
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.

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Matthew Langton 8 March 2014

Least they have the guts to

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.......
IAD 5 March 2014

I like the P1 styling but

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.
fadyady 4 March 2014

0-124mph in 8.6sec!

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