ROAD TEST: McLaren 650S Spider

When you consider the highly inflated price tags of some exotic cars which offer stunning looks and mind-blowing dynamics this gorgeous McLaren actually almost looks rather cheap, if you can ever say that about a car still costing more than many houses! It is arguably best described as a supercar rather than a hypercar, but it certainly offers performance worthy of the latter, the ultimate accolade.

Like Ferrari (the only team to compete in the Formula 1 world championship every year since its inception back in 1950), McLaren is most famous too for the long history of its own F1 racing team. Also like its Italian counterpart, Woking based McLaren has been responsible for creating a fine selection of exquisite road cars with a track pedigree, including the 650S. Lessons were learned from the production of both the 12C and the mighty P1 road cars as the 650S was designed and built and it is available as a coupé or a drop-top. Both are stunning, but courtesy of the Spider version’s retractable roof you can enjoy the aural as well the physical experience of driving the car, even in our British climate.

McLaren 650S Spider exterior.jpgThe 650S’s turbocharged V8 engine delivers 641 horsepower to your right foot, making the car phenomenally quick in a straight line, but its handling is so well sorted that amazing speed can be carried through corners too. Few cars can match the 650S’s time of just 6.3 seconds to reach the benchmark 100mph from a standing start.

One minor gripe though is that, just as the technically amazing hybrid power units of current Formula 1 cars sadly sound rather weedy and not at all like the gloriously oh so loud pre-2014 cars, so too the 650S lacks a truly engaging engine note. However, the positive to be drawn from this is that the car can almost be described as quiet when driven in relaxed style.

Some high value performance cars can be rather hard work to drive, but what really stands out about this McLaren is how effortlessly it delivers its massive capabilities without any undue drama. Pure bliss.

McLaren 650S Launch 2014 Ascari

At A Glance

Price                           £219,425
Engine size.               3.8 litre
Power                         641bhp
Fuel                             Unleaded
Top speed                  204mph
0-62mph                      3.0sec



By Graham Read

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