2015 McLaren 650S Spider

Yet another supercar making its grand entrance is the gorgeous McLaren 650S Spider at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in all its drop-top glory. The car is easily recognizable as the topless twin to McLaren ’s latest supercar, the 650S , and thankfully, not much changes between the coupe and spider versions.

The 650s Spider utilizes the same carbon-fiber MonoCell chassis underpinning the coupe and doesn’t require any reinforcing or structural strengthening with its top removed. McLaren says the Spider will have identical ride and handling characteristics with no noticeable losses in performance. And even with the addition two-piece mechanical top, only 88 pounds is added to the 650S’ 2,932-pound curb weight, bringing the Spider’s dry weight to a sill-respectable 3,020 pounds.

Power still comes from the beastly 3.8-liter turbocharged V-8 making 640 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine found within the 12C and P1 , but with a nice bump in power. That power helps the 650S coupe hit 62 mph in a blazing three seconds, 124 mph in 8.4 seconds and 186 mph in just 25.4 seconds on its way to a 207-mph top speed. McLaren does expect the extra 88 pounds to hinder the 650S Spider’s acceleration times, but only marginally.

Updated 04/02/2014: McLaren officially announced prices for the new 650S Spider which will be available from 13 U.S. retail locations. The model will be priced from $280,225.

Click past the jump for all the details on the McLaren 650S Spider

Exterior

McLaren 650S Spider
McLaren 650S Spider
McLaren 650S Spider

Want to know all the detail of how the 650S Spider looks? Take a gander at the 650S Coupe . No noticeable changes exist except for the roof and the rear deck lid. Those changes begin with the roof pillars. The Coupe’s C-pillars are essentially moved forward to become the B-pillars, losing the aft side window along the way. The newly formed B-pillars make up the mechanically operated tonneau cover that houses the hard top. The 3.8-liter V-8 is still housed in the same location, but gets a little less attention with a smaller skylight.

McLaren 650S

The McLaren 650S Coupe

Push a button, and in 17 seconds — and up to 19 mph — the car makes its transformation from coupe to convertible. And like the 12C Spider, the 650S Spider features a power rear window that can operate independently of the top. With the hardtop in place, the lowered window allows for more airflow and more engine noise into the cockpit. With the top retracted, the raised window acts as a wind deflector, helping keep the cockpit from becoming too turbulent. Of course, the window can be raised with the hardtop in place and lowered with the top stowed.

Lastly, a new exterior color named Tarocco Orange joins the mix, and in our eye, is a great choice for the car.

Rendering VS Reality

McLaren 650S Spider

Our early renderings of the 650S Spider seem to be spot on with all the changes happening around the roof portion. Like the actual car, this mock-up moves its C-pillars forward to become the new B-pillars, allowing the tonneau cover to operate. The engine bonnets share the same look as do the rear haunches just aft of the doors. The reminder of the car employs the same bodywork as the coupe version.

2015 McLaren 650S Spider - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (MM)2,670 (105.11 inches)
Track, F/R (MM)1,656 / 1583 (65.19/62.32 inches)
Length (MM)4,512 (177.63 inches)
Width (MM)2,093 (82.40 inches)
Height (MM)1,203 (47.36 inches)
Dry Weight (KG / LBS)1,370 / 3,020

Interior

McLaren 650S Spider
McLaren 650S Spider
McLaren 650S Spider

The 650S Spider’s cockpit is a familiar place for those accustomed to the 650S Coupe, but with two noticeable changes. With the hardtop in place, the cavity left open becomes an extra storage location and rearward visibility decreases. The latter change is due to the large (newly-formed) B-pillars blocking where the aft side window once lived. Proper use of the side- and rear-view mirrors should alleviate any blind spots, but close-quarter maneuvering around a racetrack might get a little harry.

Like the 650S Coupe, the Spider is a welcoming place with tons of Alcantara and carbon fiber everywhere. SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, audio streaming and voice control are all standard features. The familiar portrait-oriented infotainment screen houses all the gadgetry within the skinny center stack with the transmission, power window, and electronic parking brake controls located below. The driver’s tri-cluster instrumentation has a prominent rpm gauge in center, flanked by two TFT screens with all the important vehicle information.

Drivetrain

McLaren 650S Spider

All the fun and supercar excitement found in the 650S Coupe still resides under the Spider’s rear bonnet. The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 makes 640 horsepower at a screaming 7,250 rpm and 678 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels shod with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. Carbon ceramic rotors measuring 15.5 inches up front and 15 inches out back help bring the car to a halt from 62 mph in just 100 feet.

In sort of a one-upper way, McLaren provides stopping distances for higher velocities as well: 125 mph to zero takes 407 feet and 186 mph to a dead stop takes 896 feet. While it’s hard to compare anything against those numbers, it’s harder to imagine jabbing the brake pedal going that fast without transforming the car into a spinning top of death.

2015 McLaren 650S Spider - Drivetrain Specifications

Drivetrain LayoutLongitudinal Mid-Engine, RWD
Engine ConfigurationV8 Twin Turbo / 3799cc
Horsepower (HP @ RPM)640 / 7250
Torque (NM @ RPM)678 / 6000
Transmission7 Speed SSG
CO2275 g/km
Fuel consumption (combined)24.2 mpg
Power to weight (with lightweight options)485 PS (478 bhp) /tonne
CO2/power0.42 g/km per PS
Maximum speed329 km/h (204 mph)
0-100 kph (62 mph)3.0 s
0-200 kph (124 mph)8.6 s
0-300 kph (186 mph)26.5 s
0-400 m / ¼ mile10.6 @ 222 km/h (138 mph)
100-0 km/h30.7 m (101 ft)
200-0 km/h124 m (407 ft)
300-0 km/h273 m (896 ft)

Prices

McLaren 650S Spider

The new McLaren 650S Spider will be priced from $280,225.

Competition

It’s always a good news for any company’s sales when they create a segment of their own, and the 650S does exactly that for McLaren. The new car and its 642-horsepower engine finds itself in nearly uncharted waters. The only fair competition would come from a 458 Speciale Convertible, but we know that does not exist, and we have yet to see a Lamborghini Huracan Roadster . So you can guess that the pickings were a little slim, but here we go...

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster

Agreed, the 700-horsepower Italian bull is a much pricier car with higher figures, but like we said, It doesn’t seem like the 650S Spider will have any competition for a while. The open-top Lambo is capable of doing a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds with it’s V-12 engine, and is capable of going up to a top speed of nearly 215 mph.

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster

The soon-to-be-discontinued SLS AMG has never been a true threat to McLaren, as the two appeal to different kinds of buyers. It has never been as fast as the 12C, so it won’t hang with the 650S either. That said, it’s still no slouch, as this 6.3 AMG-powered car produces 571 horses that helps crank the speedo up to 196 mph.

That, coupled with the fact that it’s an AMG and a convertible, means that you can produce lots of tire smoke and get a whiff of it too. Sounds good, right?

Conclusion

McLaren 650S Spider

The McLaren 650S Spider is one awesome car. It’s the embodiment of everything a supercar should be, with its powerful engine, amazing looks, drop-top freedom, and astronomical price tag. All those things work together in making the car a great addition to the McLaren lineup. We’re sure they’ll sell plenty of them over the coming years, even at a slow production pace. At this point, the competition must be worried...

LOVE IT
  • Amazing exterior
  • Huge horsepower numbers and performance specs
  • Good amount of creature comforts within the cockpit
LEAVE IT
  • Just a tad-bit slower than the Coupe
  • Smaller skylight over the engine
  • Far beyond our new car budget

Press Release

McLaren Automotive has now released images and full information for the convertible version of its latest model, the McLaren 650S, unveiled at the 84th International Geneva Motor Show. The McLaren 650S Spider is a no compromise open-top high performance sports car offering the same performance, handling and driver enjoyment, with the addition of a two-piece retractable hard top. The latest model is shown in Tarocco Orange, a new addition to the McLaren colour collection, developed with technology partner AkzoNobel.

McLaren 650S Spider

The McLaren 650S Spider is mechanically identical to the 650S Coupé and is fitted with the unique McLaren M838T twin turbo V8 engine, producing 650PS (641 bhp) and 678 Nm (500 lb ft). This means a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of 3.0 seconds, identical to the Coupé, and 200 km/h (124 mph) is reached in 8.6 seconds, only 0.2 seconds shy of the fixed-head model. Maximum speed is 329 km/h mph (204 mph). Fuel consumption and emissions remain the same for the 650S Spider, returning 24.2 mpg (11.7 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle and 275 g/km.

Most competitors do not offer high performance iterations as convertibles due to the compromises that invariably plague open-roof cars. These models will be heavier and have substantially less torsional rigidity, to the detriment of handling and ride.

The carbon fibre MonoCell chassis at the heart of the McLaren 650S requires no additional strengthening or reinforcing in open-top guise, and gives the 650S Spider identical handling and ride, and virtually identical straight-line performance figures. The overall weight of the 650S Spider is 1,370 kg (dry), an increase of only 40 kg over the Coupé, with this additional mass coming from the Retractable Hard Top and roof mechanism, and is less than any other car in its class.

McLaren 650S Spider

The two-piece Retractable Hard Top can be automatically raised or lower in less than 17 seconds, and can be activated while stationary or at any speed up to 30km/h (19mph).

As with the 12C Spider, the 650S Spider uses a heated glass rear window, operating independently of the roof. With the roof down, the rear window acts as a wind deflector, reducing cabin buffeting. Roof up, the rear screen can be lowered to allow more engine noise – and driving drama – into the cabin, and for a semi-open top driving experience even when it is raining. When down, the roof is stowed beneath a body-coloured hard tonneau cover incorporated in the twin rear buttresses. With the roof raised, the area beneath the tonneau cover can be used as additional luggage space.

McLaren 650S Spider

Rather than being a stripped out road racer, the 650S Coupé and 650 Spider models are fitted with a high level of luxury equipment as standard. Carbon ceramic brakes sit behind unique ‘650’ lightweight alloy wheels shod with Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres, IRIS satellite navigation with Bluetooth telephony, DAB digital radio in Europe (SIRIUS satellite radio in North America), wireless tethering, audio streaming and voice control are all fitted as standard, and the cabin is fully trimmed in Alcantara.


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