McLaren 650S

The McLaren 650S is powered by a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 3.8L V8 engine producing 641 hp. The only transmission available is a lightning fast twin-clutch 7-speed automatic, which sends power to the rear wheels only. While 641 hp sounds like a lot, it feels like even more, thanks to the carbon-fiber construction of the car and the resulting low curb weight. This combination of low weight, high horsepower and a quick-shifting dual clutch transmission allows for sprints to 60 mph in under 3 seconds. Astoundingly fast for a car that is rear-wheel drive.

The 650S is far from just a drag car though. Handling is even more impressive than straight line performance. The 650S has huge amounts of grip, noticeable downforce and the kind of delicate balance that can only be achieved with a mid-engined car. McLaren have even managed to tune the car to be relatively benign right up to and beyond the limits of grip. The performance is all there, but the car never feels like it wants to kill the driver or swap ends unexpectedly.

The 650S is sold in one of two variants, Coupe or Spider. The Spider features a 2-piece electronically operated folding hard top. It costs a little over $10,000 more than the coupe and though the folding top adds about 100 lbs of weight, McLaren claims that no chassis stiffness has been lost in the conversion, thanks to the extensive use of carbon-fiber in the cars construction.

The 650S comes with plenty of standard kit. Included in the base price are 19-inch and 20-inch staggered wheels, power folding mirrors, LED headlights, electronically controlled suspension with three different driving modes, a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and carbon-ceramic brakes. Optional items include a sports exhaust, height-adjustable suspension (for speed bumps and driveways) heated seats with a memory function, an upgraded sound system and steel brakes, which are a no cost option. Of course cars in this price range tend to be highly customizable, so unique interiors and exterior colors are available if the buyer is willing to pay a bit extra.

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Editors' First Take

Is this a race, or is it a video game?

There isn't a piece of content better suited to the 21st century than a video with a drone racing a six-figure supercar through neon gates in downtown Dubai. To promote the upcoming World Drone Prix, its organizers put together that exact video, with a little help from the fuzz.

In the video, a drone hustles its way through a series of neon gates while trying to best a McLaren 650S, which so happens to be a promotional vehicle from Dubai's police force. It's closer to a video game trailer than a standard YouTube video, as it's heavy on the graphical overlays and the quasi-techno music to match.

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