Orange stands for the color, not the fruit. And Kiwi stands for New Zealand’s national symbol, not the fruit either. As we’re on Drivetribe, and not Fruittribe, we shall talk about cars, and not vegans.
When New Zealander Bruce #Mclaren started his own racing team, he needed a name. Check! He needed a car. Check! He needed a driver (him). Check! However, he was missing two essential things: A color, and a logo. His choice went for the kiwi (still not the fruit...) that is his home country’s national symbol, and his chose the orange color that is now known as the “Mclaren Orange”. Being very successful at racing, the now British team, was to become the second most successful team in Formula 1. Even after his death, the legacy goes one. In the 90s, they attempted their first road car called the F1 that had one objective: Being the best in the world. Eventually, it destroyed all competition and became a myth, a rarity, and one of the most expensive cars you can find (if you can find one). In 2009 they reattempted the same objective but on a much bigger scale. The MP4-12C was born.
The model I am reviewing here is its direct descendant. They dropped the complicated name, added power, reduced weight, increased down force, and voilà: 650S. Finished in this rather amazing “Mclaren Orange” (still not a fruit…), the 650S has technology that was directly engineered by people who work on Formula 1 cars. It has a carbon fiber chassis shaped like a bathtub (like in F1) that helps saving a lot of weight, and an engine that was developed in-house. A 3.8l bi-turbo V8 that develops, you guessed it, 650 horsepower. It is fast, oh my G, it’s fast.
Developed in Woking, England in a factory that looks like a chemical laboratory, the 650S is probably one of the most technologically advanced cars you can buy. It also drives brilliantly. I must admit that it is quite of a struggle to get in because of this bathtub arrangement. So you let yourself slide into this really narrow bucket seat, and hope to never have to get out again. Inside, everything looks at its correct place. There is not a lot of space so everything has been optimized at its best. The infotainment system looks so cool, and there is alcantara everywhere. And this car is also more comfortable than you think. That’s because of the very special suspension they equipped the car with.
You can feel that the engineers have pushed everything to the limit with this car. It is full of technology that will make you feel like a hero on track. It will make you drive like the rest of the big boys. It just feels like Mclaren have done it again. Like in the 90s.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland between Geneva and Lausanne, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot their car.
This is how it looks like in motion