Test Drive: The McLaren 650S
The McLaren, or any supercar for that matter, always looks spectacular, even if it sometimes makes you look like you're driving the most expensive Christmas tree. People stare, some others mock. Most of all, they gawk in undisguisable jealousy.
I had the chance of driving the McLaren 650S for a few hours, hands damp with sweat. I drove around the Redhill and the South Buona Vista area, and while that wasn't tantamount to cruising Beverly Hills, it felt good to finally garner a little respect and envy on Singapore roads.
The 650S was McLaren's unexpected decision to replace the 12C, which resulted in a dismaying collapse in prices for the latter model. Nevertheless, the 650S is an extraordinary investment far greater than vintage wine and questionable art. It knows how to grab a bull by its horns. It is faster, sharper and more charismatic than the rather clinical 12C.
While it shares some of the 12C's mid-engine chassis, including a Formula One-style carbon-fibre passenger tub, 25 per cent of the 650S is new and that includes the V8 engine's cylinder heads, pistons and exhaust valves (this means 641bhp and 678Nm). And unlike the 12C, this is reasonably comfortable. The ride quality is further cushioned by the Normal performance setting, which is less aggressive and more friendly than the Sport and Track settings.
The 650S boasts an assuring rocket-esque performance without the teeth-chattering distractions. It's a liveable supercar, if you get used to the awkward ingress and egress. it comes available as a Spider too, a perfect tool for hours of top-down exploration.