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McLaren 650S lands in Oz

By Barry Park, 05 Mar 2014 Events

McLaren 650S

McLaren fires a 470kW wedge to slot between the 12C and hyper hybrid P1

As you read this, some lucky bloke is about to become the first Australian to take delivery of McLaren’s new supercar, the 650S. Yep, Australia is one of the first markets in the world to receive McLaren’s bonkers new supercar, which is designed to sit above the MP4-12C and below the science-meets-tarmac hybrid-powered P1.

Unveiled at Geneva this morning, McLaren’s latest addition will hit Aussie roads later this month and although it sports a new look, bits of the 650S are familiar.

For instance, it keeps true to the proven formula of a lightweight, twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 wrapped in a cocoon of carbon composite. Of course, it’s mid-engined and rear-drive.

The 650 part of the supercar’s name refers to its metric horsepower, equating to 641bhp (478kW) delivered at 7250rpm. The forced induction results in 95 percent of the V8’s 678Nm of torque arriving from 3000rpm, and it only starts to fall off from 7000rpm. The 650S will fire those big numbers to the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Externally, the 650S borrows much of its styling cues from the larger P1.

A wide, deep splitter is framed on either side by low-energy LED headlights, with large hook-shaped intakes feeding cooling air to the brakes. Behind the front wheels, “air blades” formed from the sharply sculpted rocker panels help suck the 650S’s aerodynamic form to the road, as well as feeding even more air into the blade-like air intakes behind the gullwing-style doors.

Inside, contrast-stitched Alcantara is offset with carbon-fibre in a cabin featuring satellite navigation, digital radio and even air-conditioning as standard.

McLaren won’t say how many potential Australian buyers have stumped up money for the 650S, only that within days of its announcement in February, the car-maker already had a queue forming at the door.