McLaren not only brought the 650S Coupe at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but also the 650S Spider. The new McLaren 650S Spider promises to offer the same performance, handling and driver enjoyment as the coupe. Just like the MP4-12C Spider, the 650S Spider features a two-piece retractable hard top that can be automatically raised or lowered in less than 17 seconds and at speeds of up to 30km/h (19 mph).
Thanks to the carbon fiber MonoCell chassis, the 650S requires no additional strengthening or reinforcing in open-top guise. The weight of the 650S Spider is 1,370 kg (dry), an increase of only 40 kg over the coupe version. Under the hood, we find the same Mclaren M838T twin turbo V8 engine that produces 650 hp and 678 Nm (500 lb ft) of torque.
These numbers translate into a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.0 seconds (identical to the coupe) and to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.6 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than the coupe). Top speed is 329 km/h (204 mph). Meanwhile, the fuel consumption and emissions remain the same for the 650S Spider: 24.2 mpg (11.7 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle and 275 g/km.
As you can see from the photos, the McLaren 650S Spider showed up at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in Tarocco Orange, a new addition to the McLaren colour collection, developed with technology partner AkzoNobel. Just like the MP4-12C Spider, the 650S Spider comes with a heated glass rear window, operating independently of the roof.
The rear window acts as a wind deflector when the roof is down, while when the roof is up it can be lowered in order to allow more engine noise. When down, the roof is stowed beneath a body-coloured hard tonneau cover incorporated in the twin rear buttresses. With the roof raised, the area beneath the tonneau cover can be used as additional luggage space.
Despite the fact that it is a high-performance sports car, the 650S Spider still offers a high level of luxury equipment as standard such as carbon ceramic brakes, unique ‘650’ lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, DAB digital radio in Europe (SIRIUS satellite radio in North America), wireless tethering, audio streaming and voice control are all fitted as standard, and the cabin is fully trimmed in Alcantara. Pricing starts at 212,250 GBP ($354,371 or 257,366 euros).
As expected, the new McLaren 650S builds not only on the carmaker’s track success but also on other innovative technologies equipped on other McLaren vehicles. For instance, the new McLaren 650S boasts of improved versions of active aerodynamics of the McLaren 12C and McLaren P1 cars.
The new McLaren 650S also features an evolved and more stable iteration of the so-called McLaren Airbrake, which was originally equipped on the 12C and 12C Spider. Designed to offer optimal levels of downforce on the rear end, the Airbrake could now be deployed once the 650S detects the need for extra downforce, instead of just under braking. This system could now also be deployed manually in 'Aero' mode. The McLaren 650S also features a characteristic rear three-piece bumper just below the Airbrake, similar to that in the GT3 racing variant of the 12C.
McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system – in its improved form – has also been adopted for the McLaren 650S. PCC could adjust the ride and handling modes (Normal, Sport and Track) independently from the drivetrain, thereby allowing for a higher degree of freedom in terms of ride and handling. McLaren has recalibrated these settings to further enhance driver engagement, which is noticeable in Sport mode.
Mike Flewitt described McLaren as a fast moving company that continually endeavors for further improvements as well as technical benefits. He noted that McLaren is living through its Formula One heritage by always seeking to innovate, to lead respective classes and to introduce new technologies and concepts. Flewiitt added that everything the carmaker has learnt – from the 12C to the P1 – were injected to the design and development of the new 650S.
The British carmaker designed the McLaren 650S to lead its class in terms of driver engagement, but it made sure that it didn’t become a stripped out-road racer. This was achieved by ensuring that the ride comfort and refinement of the new 650S are still of executive saloon standards.
Moreover, it comes with a number of standard features like IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, wireless tethering, audio streaming, DAB digital radio (SIRIUS satellite radio in North America), and voice control. It is also offered with optional features like the P1-derived fixed-back carbon racing seats, an electrically adjustable steering column as well as a rear parking camera. Extended carbon fiber inside the new 650S is also optional.