Automotive

McLaren's 650S makes its North American debut in New York City

The 650S now makes 641 hp with torque increased significantly from 443 lb.ft to 500 lb.ft (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S now makes 641 hp with torque increased significantly from 443 lb.ft to 500 lb.ft (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S has met with such enthusiasm that the company had to retool and change out the production line from the 12C, months ahead as initially projected (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S has met with such enthusiasm that the company had to retool and change out the production line from the 12C, months ahead as initially projected (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
With the exception of P1-inspired headlight details and a more authoritative presence, the 650S is near identical to the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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With the exception of P1-inspired headlight details and a more authoritative presence, the 650S is near identical to the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
650S Spider under cover waiting for its North American debut in Manhattan last week (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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650S Spider under cover waiting for its North American debut in Manhattan last week (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C, as has the Spider's fast folding roof (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C, as has the Spider's fast folding roof (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Front of the 650S has been aesthetically improved from the 12C, now incorporating similar headlight and grill treatments as the P1 (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Front of the 650S has been aesthetically improved from the 12C, now incorporating similar headlight and grill treatments as the P1 (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headlight design, rather cleverly, incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The headlight design, rather cleverly, incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C as has the Spider's fast folding roof (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C as has the Spider's fast folding roof (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S now makes 641 hp with torque increased significantly from 443 lb.ft to 500 lb.ft (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S now makes 641 hp with torque increased significantly from 443 lb.ft to 500 lb.ft (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S is very similar to the outgoing 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S is very similar to the outgoing 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S features "inertia push" which captures built up kinetic energy, and delivers it to the next gear before revs drop, reducing power loss between shifts and increasing acceleration (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S features "inertia push" which captures built up kinetic energy, and delivers it to the next gear before revs drop, reducing power loss between shifts and increasing acceleration (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The new, active rear wing works with a greater level of functionality and offers a greater degree of stability than in the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The new, active rear wing works with a greater level of functionality and offers a greater degree of stability than in the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S' interior is near identical to the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S' interior is near identical to the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system has also been enhanced and reworked in the 650S, as have the car’s dampers and springs (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system has also been enhanced and reworked in the 650S, as have the car’s dampers and springs (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Front of the 650S has been aesthetically improved from the 12C, now incorporating similar headlight and grill treatments as the P1 (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Front of the 650S has been aesthetically improved from the 12C, now incorporating similar headlight and grill treatments as the P1 (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S can run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, with times to 160 km/h (100 mph) taking only 5.7 seconds (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S can run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, with times to 160 km/h (100 mph) taking only 5.7 seconds (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
To keep the dash clean, McLaren moved items like the AC controls off to the door panels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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To keep the dash clean, McLaren moved items like the AC controls off to the door panels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S gearbox is controlled via console mounted buttons, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters handling the shifting (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S gearbox is controlled via console mounted buttons, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters handling the shifting (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Top speed for the Coupe is rated at 333 km/h (207 mph) with the convertible Spider just slightly slower at 329 km/h (204 mph) (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Top speed for the Coupe is rated at 333 km/h (207 mph) with the convertible Spider just slightly slower at 329 km/h (204 mph) (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The supercar also now sports weight-saving alloy wheels, which helps shave 613 lb (278 kg) off the scale when compared to the 12C’s cast wheels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The supercar also now sports weight-saving alloy wheels, which helps shave 613 lb (278 kg) off the scale when compared to the 12C’s cast wheels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
To keep the dash clean, McLaren moved items like the AC controls off to the door panels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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To keep the dash clean, McLaren moved items like the AC controls off to the door panels (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The revised twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 now makes 641 hp (650 PS) thanks to new pistons, revamped cylinder heads, new exhaust valves and reworked cam timing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The revised twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 now makes 641 hp (650 PS) thanks to new pistons, revamped cylinder heads, new exhaust valves and reworked cam timing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S console is pretty much the same as the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S console is pretty much the same as the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Functional air ducts ahead of the rear wheels provide optimal air to the 3.8 liter's twin-turbochargers (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Functional air ducts ahead of the rear wheels provide optimal air to the 3.8 liter's twin-turbochargers (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
McLaren chose a private event to debut the new 650S to a select group of automotive journalists in New York City (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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McLaren chose a private event to debut the new 650S to a select group of automotive journalists in New York City (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Stylistically, not much has changed on the 650S from the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Stylistically, not much has changed on the 650S from the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The new 650S is priced out at US$265,000 for the Coupe (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The new 650S is priced out at US$265,000 for the Coupe (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
McLaren's boomerang-esque logo seen in the signal and headlight (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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McLaren's boomerang-esque logo seen in the signal and headlight (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system has also been enhanced and reworked in the 650S, as have the car’s dampers and springs (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system has also been enhanced and reworked in the 650S, as have the car’s dampers and springs (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headlight design, rather cleverly incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The headlight design, rather cleverly incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Alcantara lines most of the 650S interior (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Alcantara lines most of the 650S interior (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Dihedral doors have been carried over from the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headlight design, rather cleverly incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The headlight design, rather cleverly incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which in turn is mirrored in the fender treatment (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Functional air ducts ahead of the rear wheels provide optimal air to the 3.8 liter's twin-turbochargers (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Functional air ducts ahead of the rear wheels provide optimal air to the 3.8 liter's twin-turbochargers (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S moniker stands for the European power designation of 650 PS (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The 650S moniker stands for the European power designation of 650 PS (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Interior and accompanying gadgetry is near identical to that of the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Interior and accompanying gadgetry is near identical to that of the 12C (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

As the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) gets ready to wrap up this weekend, visitors still have a chance to see some of the auto world’s unique offerings for 2014. One boutique supercar manufacturer, however, chose an intimate space away from the cavernous halls of Manhattan’s Javits Center to show off its latest creations; the McLaren 650S Coupe and Spider.

Like Lamborghini, who held the North American debut of the Huracán at a private champagne event, McLaren chose an art space to showcase an Aurora Blue Coupe and a Tarocco orange Spider 650S to a select group of automotive journalists as part of the Big Apple’s auto show week. But rather than completely redesign the 650S, McLaren, the quiet yet talented UK firm with the F1 background, chose instead to focus and improve on critical elements like the engine, suspension, gearbox, wheels and various technological aspects.

First things first, let’s get the stylistic discussion out of the way. Yes, the 650S is very similar to the outgoing 12C … on the outside. With the exception of P1-inspired headlight details and a more dynamic presence, the 650S is near identical on the facade to its predecessor. The headlight design, if you look closely, rather cleverly incorporates McLaren’s boomerang-like logo into the LED component, which is in turn mirrored in the surrounding fender treatment. Other than that, the average Joe on the street won’t be able to tell the 650S from the 12C without doing some homework.

The new 650S is priced out at US$265,000 for the Coupe (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The new 650S is priced out at US$265,000 for the Coupe (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

As we mentioned back in February, the 650S sports a similar, yet more powerful drivetrain than the 12C. The revised twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 now makes 641 hp (650 PS) thanks to new pistons, revamped cylinder heads, new exhaust valves and reworked cam timing. These changes improve on the 12C’s horsepower by 25 hp but see torque figures increase significantly from 443 lb.ft (600 Nm) to 500 lb.ft (678 Nm). That escalation in twisting force can only make the car that much quicker when pulling out of corners and other inspired driving situations.

The 650S can run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, with times to 160 km/h (100 mph) taking only 5.7 seconds (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The 650S can run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, with times to 160 km/h (100 mph) taking only 5.7 seconds (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

Performance figures put the 650S at 2.9 seconds for a run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) for both the Coupe and Spider. Times to 160 km/h (100 mph) take only 5.7 seconds thanks to power enhancements, but also adjustments to the gearbox software that allows for even faster, sharper shifts than the 12C. Top speed for the Coupe is rated at 333 km/h (207 mph), with the convertible Spider just slightly slower at 329 km/h (204 mph).

McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system has also been enhanced and reworked in the 650S, as have the car’s dampers and springs. The supercar also now sports weight-saving alloy wheels, which helps shave 613 lb (278 kg) off the scale when compared to the 12C’s cast wheels.

For those with track aspirations, the 650S features something called "inertia push." In Track Mode, when the car is being driven at limits, the inertia push system captures built up kinetic energy, which in turn delivers a torque shot to the gearbox. What has to be an F1 trick means power is being delivered to the next gear before revs drop, subsequently reducing the amount of power loss between shifts and thus increasing acceleration times.

The revised twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 now makes 641 hp (650 PS) thanks to new pistons, revamped cylinder heads, new exhaust valves and reworked cam timing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The revised twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 now makes 641 hp (650 PS) thanks to new pistons, revamped cylinder heads, new exhaust valves and reworked cam timing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

One other key, yet hidden, change to the 650S is the improved McLaren airbrake. According to the company, the new rear active wing "now works with a greater level of functionality, offering a greater degree of stability across a wider range of conditions." The wing now plays a more integral part in the complete driving experience, according to McLaren, than it did on the 12C.

McLaren’s North American representative says that the new car has met with such enthusiasm that the company had to retool and change out the production line from the 12C to the 650S, months ahead of the projected switch-over. This bit of unexpected production news speaks volumes to the outgoing model’s reputation and consumer faith in the new supercar.

The new 650S is priced out at US$265,000 for the Coupe, with the open-aired Spider likely taking another $20,000 to $30,000 from your wallet to acquire. The NYIAS event wraps up at the Javits Center this Sunday, April 27.

Source: McLaren

3 comments
Daishi
Sort of off topic but if you make $33k/year USD you are technically in the top 1% of the global population (source globalrichlist.com). At 100k that becomes 0.08% of the world population. The market for 300k+ exotic cars is mostly targeted at the people who make over a million a year which if that site is accurate is about 0.01% of the world population. That's an amazingly small market of people to build products for but its certainly the right 0.01% to do business with.
Daishi
And I want to add: and here I am trying to find sedans in the US with decent HP and stick shift and they are almost wiped out of existence due to lack of demand.
The Skud
Diachi - too many lazy people buying an non-stick auto box and looking for very low gas mileage! The manufacturers would rather make a lot of those than cater for the relatively small number of enthusiasts looking for stick-shifts and bigger motors so they can actually enjoy driving.