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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:McLaren 650S

Overall verdict
Answers all the criticisms that the 12C lacked drama. Pounding yet usable.


Astonishing go, great handling on track or bumpy roads, comfort


Sorry, but to us that P1-style nose looks like a quick-fix facelift


What is it?

Not quite what it was supposed to be. McLaren posited it was a faster, more dramatic-looking and focused sister to the 12C. But 12C sales promptly collapsed, so it became the replacement. The V8 has new heads, pistons and cams plus bigger rads and a new exhaust. That means 650bhp and a socking 500lb ft of torque. 

The car has P1-type styling, a surprisingly modified chassis, carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, and carbon fibre doors. The amazingly supple ride of the 12C has been sacrificed slightly, as has the 12C’s subtle visual elegance, but it proves buyers wanted a harder feel and more dramatic looks. The 650S certainly delivers on all those scores

Continue: Driving