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PROS

  • Staggering performance
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Decent kit list
  • British built

CONS

  • Spider costs £20k more
  • Expensive to own

Verdict

This sleek-looking sports car is the McLaren 650S. It’s a two-seat supercar available as a coupe or a convertible ‘Spider’, which slots into the British firm’s range between the ultra-exclusive P1 and the cheaper (but not exactly slow) MP4-12C.

While we’ll try and keep the superlatives to a minimum, it’s safe to say this is a stonkingly rapid machine.

Its headline figures include a sprint from 0-62mph in just three seconds and a top speed of 207mph. Other interesting stats include the ability to complete a quarter mile drag race in only 10.5 seconds and enough power to hit 124mph (200kph) from standstill in only 8.4 seconds. That gives you an idea of the sort of speeds we’re talking about.

Producing such performance is a re-worked version of the 3.8-litre V8 twin-turbocharged petrol engine from the MP4-12C. It produces 642bhp and a maximum of 678Nm of torque at 6,000rpm.

That power is sent through a seven-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel.

You can have the car set to one of four driving modes – Winter, Normal, Sport or Track – with each changing the car’s suspension, engine, gearbox and traction control settings accordingly.

High performance carbon ceramic brakes are nestled behind the bespoke lightweight alloy wheels, which measure 19 inches in diameter up front and 20-inch at the back.

An adaptive suspension system joins improved downforce over the MP4-12C, which means improved turn-in and high-speed cornering according to McLaren.

You’re not short on equipment here either. Standard equipment includes sat-nav, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and voice control. The cabin is trimmed in race car-inspired Alcantara.

We doubt many will stay standard though, and of course there’s a huge list of optional extras available to push up both the spec and the price of your McLaren. You could, for instance, tick the box for the fixed-back carbon racing seats, a parking camera or extra carbon fibre detailing in the cabin.

While performance is obviously at the top of the list of this car’s priorities, there’s a nod towards efficiency too. Fuel economy (according to McLaren) is 24.2mpg, but we’d say if you can get it over 10mpg you’re probably not using the car to its full potential.

As you can imagine, servicing and insurance costs are going to be fairly high.

We mentioned at the start of this article that you can have the 650S as a hard-top coupe body style or a Spider convertible, but there’s a problem. If you want the wind in your hair while you’re scaring yourself silly you’ll have to pay a – wait for it - £20,000 premium over the hard top.

Prices for the coupe start at £195,250. The Spider is £215,250.

Keep an eye out for the full McLaren 650S review coming soon.

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