A Fine Formula

The McLaren 650S.

Hot off the heels of the European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, McLaren officially launched the highly anticipated 650S supercar in North America at the Vancouver International Auto Show. Morris Lubinich, general sales manager at McLaren Vancouver, revealed a bright Volcano Yellow 650S coupe and a hardtop convertible spider model in Tarocco Orange.

“The 650S is a new model for 2015. It’s an evolution of the 12C, so they’ve redesigned the nose of the car. It’s got that P1 family look,” says Lubinich. “Everything is improved on the car—the horsepower, steering, handling, it’s all been put together in one complete package.”

Sitting between the two aforementioned McLaren models—the “entry-level” MP4-12C, which is McLaren’s first production sports car since 1998, and the limited-edition P1 plug-in hybrid hypercar—the 650S incorporates and improves on features from both its siblings.

At its core is a massaged version of the 12C’s twin-turbo V8, now producing 641 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to accelerate from 0–100 km/h in approximately three seconds. From a design standpoint, the 650S does away with the tamer front bumper and instead dons one resembling the P1 with its gaping black front fascia, making the car appear as though it is grinning. Underneath, an integrated splitter creates additional downforce to keep the car stable and planted during turns and high-speed driving.

“McLaren is all about form meeting function,” Lubinich continues. “They’re all about design and everything comes out of F1. Every one of these cars has a piece of that technology and heritage in it.”

Indeed, the British manufacturer based in Surrey, England has its roots deeply embedded in the sport of Formula One, dating back to 1963 when race-car driver and designer Bruce McLaren first formed Bruce McLaren Motor Racing. Twenty-six years later, McLaren Automotive was formed in 1989, taking some of that expertise to design cars for the road. The company, now represented in Canada by Pfaff Automotive Partners with locations in Vancouver and Toronto, is currently taking orders on the new models.

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March 27, 2014