You rarely meet a McLaren employee who wouldn’t be slim-hipped enough to slip into a racing bucket seat and compete in a GT race if the need suddenly arose.
The same build is clearly expected of its customers. The fixed-back, Alcantara-covered sports seats of our test car were so snug that anyone with a BMI higher than 20 can forget about squeezing into them comfortably. Occupant space is, mercifully, otherwise generous.
Alcantara extends almost throughout, with attractive contrast stitching across the fascia and door facings. Where that material isn’t found, carbonfibre presents a suitably purposeful impression – on the skinny centre stack, door consoles and steering wheel.
The wheel itself is flat-bottomed but otherwise perfectly proportioned, located quite high and upright, with more reach adjustment than any of our testers required. In a contrast to Ferrari design philosophy so stark that it couldn’t be coincidental, there isn’t a button or switch on it. McLaren’s wheels are for steering with, pure and simple. Bravo.
The central tacho dominates an instrument cluster with colour LCD screens to either side and a small digital speedometer whose symbolic understatement somewhat undersells the sheer pace of the 650S.
A one-piece aluminium shift paddle rotates with the steering wheel and is bordered by aluminium control stalks. Lower down, slightly incongruous-looking plastic stalks are fitted for cruise control and menu navigation functions. These apart, just about everything here has a convincing aura of quality. All of the switchgear is symmetrically designed which should keep even those with OCD happy.
For cabin storage, there are two decent-sized cupholders and a small tray hidden away behind the centre console. Which is about as practical as a mid-engined supercar’s interior needs to be, in our book.
The 650S’s portrait-orientated screen is touch-sensitive, or can be marshalled using the rotary controller immediately below it — the latter being the easier on the move.
The nav is more reliable and robust now than it was in the earliest 12Cs. Programming is straightforward and satellite reception is improved, so it seldom mistakes your position. One bugbear remains: you zoom in like you would on an iPad, pinching or spreading your fingertips, but it doesn’t work too well because the system can’t refresh quickly enough.