The global recession has forced many people to put off new-car purchases, but that apparently isn’t a problem for McLaren.
Unveiled in both Coupe and convertible Spider form at last week’s Geneva Motor Show, the 650S was originally pitched as a more aggressive 12C variant that could help bridge the gap between McLaren’s “entry-level” supercar and the almighty P1.
However, McLaren now expects the 650S to account for the bulk of its sales. Customers are bound to be attracted to that P1-esque front end.
It certainly makes the 12C look bland by comparison, but under the skin the two cars have a lot in common. They share a chassis, as well as a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8.
However, the 650S makes 641 horsepower – compared to 616 hp for the 12C – which allows it reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.0 seconds, and reach a top speed of 207 mph.
According to McLaren, though, what’s really driving customer demand is the 650s’ newness. Anyone who has the money to spend on a supercar doesn’t want to get stuck with last year’s model.
So while the 650S will be more expensive than the 12C, it will probably make some (perverse) sense for this customers, and McLaren itself.
Reportedly due next year, the P13 will cost two-thirds of the price of the 650S.
That means there may not be any room for the 12c in that pricing gap. Oh, the problems of an exotic carmaker.