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2017 650S

McLaren designed the 650S to slot under the sold-out gasoline-electric P1 as the replacement for the MP4-12C. Offered as a coupe and a convertible, the 650S shares its underpinnings with the 12C but it is faster, sharper-looking and more expensive.

The centerpiece of the 650S is a mid-mounted 3.8-liter V8 engine that uses two turbochargers to generate 650 horsepower and 500 lb-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm. McLaren says the 650S can accelerate to 62 mph from a stop in three seconds flat, and a reach a track-worthy top speed of 207 mph.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission called Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG). It features a Pre-Cog (short for pre-cognition) system that cuts down on shift times by enabling the driver to preselect the next gear of a downshift or upshift by half-pressing one of the shift paddles.

Like all members of McLaren's current lineup, the 650S is crafted largely out of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum and SMC plastics. As a result, it tips the scale at just 2,932 pounds.

Looking the Part

It doesn't take a well-trained eye to spot the visual similarities between the 650S and the MP4-12C as both cars share the same overall silhouette in addition to several body panels. The 650S' design stands out thanks to a unique front fascia with boomerang-shaped head lights that are noticeably inspired by the aforementioned P1.

Moving past the front end, the 12C's gill-shaped air vents have been replaced by one large vent on each side, while the rear end is carried over from the 12C to the 650S with only minor modifications such as a new bumper.

The 650S is equipped with a large spoiler called Active Airbrake that automatically deploys at a 32-degree angle when sensors indicate the car needs extra downforce or under heavy braking.

Life Aboard

Step inside through the novel butterfly doors and it becomes immediately evident the 650S is as well-appointed as big-name luxury sedans in spite of its performance-focused nature. The coupe offers seating for two passengers on supportive bucket seats upholstered with Alcantara.

The cockpit is dominated by a slanted center console that houses several buttons and a large screen that groups the car's navigation, connectivity and entertainment functions into a single unit. The high-tech treatment continues behind the three-spoke steering wheel with a fully digital instrument cluster that can be configured to provide a host of information about the car and its surroundings.

Optional Equipment

The list of options includes additional paint colors, different alloy wheel designs, a sport exhaust, a Meridian surround sound system, a height-adjustable suspension that raises the ground clearance to avoid scraping the front end on steep driveways and a wide variety of carbon fiber trim pieces inside, outside and in the engine bay.

Occupant Safety

The 650S comes standard with front, side curtain and knee airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.

Key Competitors

The McLaren 650S is aimed prestigious and exotic - not to mention seriously fast - cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Lamborghini Huracan.