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Whenever I encounter something expensive and sleek and British I immediately associate it with a James Bond film. I daydream that Q, played by John Cleese of course, leads me into some underground bunker where he promptly trips over a shotgun disguised as a weedeater and then hands me the keys to something exceptional.
The McLaren fits the bill perfectly. And the colour of our test unit helped too. I spent the next few days varying between being terrified to death by the sheer madness of the acceleration, and feeling like I was the coolest guy no one had ever heard of.
For me, McLarens occupy quite a special place in the supercar pantheon. They’re quite…discreet, in a weird way. I think it’s because a Ferrari or a Lamborghini is so recognisable, that when a McLaren rolls past, a casual observer might dismiss it as “just another supercar.” In fact, McLaren were actually worried about this, and as you’ll see in the film, the 650S actually carries the company name on the nose, where the MP4-12C simply had the emblem.
While the engine is similar, it is much lighter thanks to a thorough rework of the components. Power is up to 478kW and thanks to a sports exhaust, the 650S we drove sounded demonic. The front end is dramatically different and much improved over the slightly generic-looking MP4-PLAYER. Read a review of the McLaren MP4-12C here.
In this video which you are about to enjoy and then share with all of your friends and colleagues, I tried to find out what this supercar was like to live with on normal roads. And then when I was thoroughly bored and frustrated, we drove out to the Killarney Racetrack and…well, that’s what the play button is for.