McLaren announced official North American pricing for its new McLaren 650S, following its debut at the 2014 Geneva auto show. Said to slot between the 616-hp McLaren 12C and the range-topping McLaren P1, the McLaren 650S Coupe and Spider will begin at $265,500 and $287,225, respectively.
The McLaren 650S Coupe, packing 641 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, can hit 60 mph from a stop in just 2.9 seconds. That’s 0.2 seconds quicker than the McLaren 12C can achieve. In addition to the gobs of horsepower and torque, transmitted through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to the rear wheels, the McLaren 650S boasts a curb weight of just 2,932 pounds in coupe form. With carbon ceramic disc brakes and sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tires, the 650S should be a force to be reckoned with out on the track.
Even so, the DNA that birthed the McLaren F1 (first introduced in 1993) is much more present in the McLaren P1 than in the 650S. The 0-62 mph run takes 2.8 seconds in the 903 hp P1, which uses a modern hybrid drivetrain that is on the cutting edge of technology and performance, much like the F1 was back in the 90s. The F1 is still a veritable weapon in 2014, and its 225-mph top speed and 3.2-second 0-62-mph sprint prove it was far ahead of its time.
Does the price tell a story?For buyers who weren’t able to either afford or get in line quick enough for the sold-out, $1,150,000 McLaren P1, the McLaren 650S definitely can provide stunning performance and the ever-important brand cachet of a McLaren. But at $265,500, the 650S’ starting price positions it as an upward step form the slower, older McLaren 12C, which starts at $239,400. Considering the 12C's lackluster sales performance and the relatively slim price differential between it and the new 650S, it’s not inconceivable to think that the arrival of the McLaren 650S will soon mean the end of the 12C.
The McLaren 650S makes its U.S. debut at the 2014 New York auto show and goes on sale in later this year.