By: IOL Motoring Staff

McLaren has added some P1 flavour and some extra ponies to its 12C and the result goes by the name of 650S.

The new supercar sits above the 12C in McLaren's pecking order and below the sold-out P1 hypercar, although it clearly inherits some of the P1's design flavour.

Most of the P1 influence is seen at the front end, where the 650S styles up with new LED headlights and a more integrated front splitter that increases downforce. Another aerodynamic boost is given by the unique door blades behind the front wheels, which direct air from the trailing edges of the aforementioned front splitter to further improve grip levels.

Not stopping there, engineers came up with an upgraded version of McLaren's Airbrake system, to further improve downforce at the back end. This enhanced Airbrake now deploys whenever the car senses that extra downforce would come in handy, rather than simply under braking.


As was expected, the 650S will be catapulted forward by a beefed-up version of the 12C's mid-mounted M838T 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. Maximum power has increased slightly from 460kW to 478kW, although no performance figures have been divulged as yet.

As for the chassis, the 650S uses an enhanced version McLaren's ProActive Chassis Control suspension system, complete with recalibrated settings for the three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Sport and Track. McLaren says the changes will be particularly apparent in Sport mode.

After all, the 650S was designed to be "the best and most engaging driver's car in its class."

On sale later this year, the 650S will be available as a traditional coupé or as a 'Spider' with a retractable folding hard top.