11 April 2014

The McLaren 650S is almost as fast as a Bugatti Veyron, but costs less than one fifth of the price. After driving the McLaren 650S Spider last week, Steve Sutcliffe takes to the Ascari circuit in southern Spain to discover if the replacement for the McLaren 12C lives up to the promise of being much faster and more exciting to drive.

Join the debate


12 April 2014
However after watching the video it would appear to really eat tyres, and any owner going on a track day would probably need a spare set to get home on, does it come with a tow hook and trailer? ;)

12 April 2014
Said owner, if he can afford the car, he can afford the spare set of tyres?

12 April 2014
Who in their right mind turns up to a track day with the sole intention of destroying the tyres so they can't drive home? If that's your aim you trailer the car to the track, along with a new set of tyres.

Common sense really.

12 April 2014
I'm sure it's an amazing car, but to these eyes it looks generic-supercar. Maybe white does it no favours.

12 April 2014
...thought the styling was incongruent at best, ugly at worst. The car sounds like a strained lawn mower and Steve with all respect, it is obvious you were not having much fun in there despite your words...its the turbo chargers which make it difficult to drift the car and you can tell this by looking at the footage; the engine is revving up and down like a yo yo which clearly suggests the turbos are making it difficult to modulate the throttle and the car is shifting its angle along the drift accordingly. This is no 458 Italia, and it seems the British Press, sympathetic with McLaren for its failure with the MP4-12C (er sorry 12C) are desperate to hype this model...6 months waiting list and you call this a 'success'?

McLaren, all you need to do is get rid of Frank Stephenson and get someone competent to design a beautiful car around this chassis, oh and ask Recardo to help you develop a new, more sonorous engine for the P13. Seriously these models are going to start looking like baked again rehashes of old and this is not good for the image or future of the McLaren Automotive.

13 April 2014
Perhaps the sound you are hearing is the result of lack of limited slip diff. I cannot fathom why a ₤200,000 car would not have one but I read that in another review somewhere.

I guess these days manufacturers prefer controlling things with electronics and brakes rather than with sound mechanical engineering.

16 April 2014
gaco1- your turbo comment is wrong. The car doesn't have an LSD making holding a drift angle an expert only affair. It's not power delivery. Modern turbo cars are well sorted.
Success ? McLaren sell all the cars it makes. Sounds like success to me.
The old 12c was faster round the Nürburgring than the 458. It will be interesting to see what the 650s will do.

12 April 2014
Autocar wrote:

The McLaren 650S is almost as fast as a Bugatti Veyron, but costs less than one fifth of the price...

Alternatively, it could've been said that The McLaren 650S is almost as fast as a McLaren P1, but costs less than a quarter of the price, that would not have followed the narrative now, would it?

12 April 2014
Why take the front of the P1 and the back of 12C to make a new car? Is Mclaren design that desperately short staffed? So it looks like a P1 is approaching and from the back looks like a 12C is driving away? The design is one of the essential parts of a sports car, specially in this price range. And giving a sports car too much torque is no good. The exiting part of a sports cars engine is the high reving nature of it. That is why most sports cars are not given too much torque. It's like Mclaren tries to fix one problem but ends creating another. A desirable sports car is not built on performance alone.

12 April 2014
Steve, according to (Autocar) stats, the MP4-12C has 442lb ft between 3000rpm and 7000rpm. The 650S has 500lb ft @ 6000 rpm. Not exactly and extra 80ish lb ft, and necessarily lower down?
The claimed 0-100mph time is shattering no doubt, amazing what turning up the boost can achieve. Didn't the 1184 hp Super Sport break 5 seconds?


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Latest videos