McLaren 650S Thunders Into Geneva Motor Show

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Superlatives are the name of the game at the McLaren display in Geneva. The company claims its alluring 650S is the fastest, most engaging, best equipped and most beautiful production supercar they’ve ever made. Is that the truth or just a bunch of bullroar? Here’s the skinny.

First, this car looks positively delicious in rich, blue paint. It’s hard not to run up and lick the body, even to get just a little taste. Its design was inspired by the amazing McLaren P1, with lots of swoops and curves. It’s also got LED headlamps and a special front splitter that increases down force for better high-speed handling. And you’ve got to love those dihedral doors that open upward.

The 650S gets its name from the engine powering it. The mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 delivers 650 PS, sort of the metric equivalent of horsepower. In figures you may be more familiar with, that works out to about 641 brake horsepower. The “S” following the number stands for “sport.”

With a machine of this caliber aerodynamics is critical and the 650S speeds through the air like a bullet fired from a high-powered rifle. An active airbrake, similar to the one on McLaren’s 12C optimizes down-force and improves stability. The car can actually sense when it needs that extra pressure and the flap pops up to oblige.

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The car is also equipped with McLaren’s ProActive Chassis Control, PCC for short. This adaptive suspension system adjusts how the car rides and handles. Drivers have three different settings to choose from – Normal, Sport and Tack. Additionally PCC recalibrates the powertrain, though the two can be adjusted independently of one another for total control of how the car behaves.

You don’t need us to tell you the 650S is an amazing machine… you can see for yourself. You’ll be able to check one out in person this spring when they go on sale; both coupe and spider versions will be available. Pricing and performance information has not been made public at this juncture but it ought to cost a crapload and run like a clap of thunder.

GALLERY: McLaren 650S Live Shots

GALLERY: McLaren 650S

Discuss this story at our McLaren 650S forum

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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