X

Eye-catching McLaren 650S Spider uses race-bred tech (pictures)

The McLaren 650S takes advantage of carbon fiber and race-level drivetrain technology, yet still proves very manageable on the road.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2015mclaren650sspider-006.jpg
1 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

McLaren's latest sports car, the 650S, builds on its previous MP4-12C and P1 models.

2015mclaren650sspider-005.jpg
2 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The 650S is designed to be extraordinarily capable on the track but comfortable on public roads.

2015mclaren650sspider-002.jpg
3 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

McLaren incorporates its logo styling into the headlight apertures.

2015mclaren650sspider-011.jpg
4 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

With its retractable hard top, the 650S Spider becomes a roadster in 17 seconds.

2015mclaren650sspider-001.jpg
5 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The 650S is formatted as a midengine, rear-wheel-drive car.

2015mclaren650sspider-010.jpg
6 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Doors open up and out, but you will likely hit your head more than once.

2015mclaren650sspider-003.jpg
7 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Side air intakes help feed the two large turbos.

2015mclaren650sspider-015.jpg
8 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

McLaren fits the 650S with an adaptive suspension, adding comfort and cornering capability.

2015mclaren650sspider-019.jpg
9 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The rear of the car has an active air brake, which deploys when braking from speeds over 60 mph.

2015mclaren650sspider-018.jpg
10 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The engine isn't accessible for owners.

2015mclaren650sspider-017.jpg
11 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The exhaust ports sit high in the rear.

2015mclaren650sspider-036.jpg
12 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Even with 641 horsepower, the 650S is remarkably manageable on the roads.

2015mclaren650sspider-026.jpg
13 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The cockpit has room for just two people and their mobile phones.

2015mclaren650sspider-029.jpg
14 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The only storage area is behind the console.

2015mclaren650sspider-023.jpg
15 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

A big tachometer dominates the instrument cluster, and shows a helpful digital speed display.

2015mclaren650sspider-025.jpg
16 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Paddle shifters on the steering wheel are necessary for manual gear selection.

2015mclaren650sspider-024.jpg
17 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The 650S comes with a seven-speed automated manual gearbox.

2015mclaren650sspider-022.jpg
18 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

Climate controls are integrated with the door handles on either side.

2015mclaren650sspider-030.jpg
19 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The Iris infotainment system, built on the Android OS, comes standard.

2015mclaren650sspider-031.jpg
20 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The navigation system offers guidance and live traffic, but had trouble keeping track of the car.

2015mclaren650sspider-032.jpg
21 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

McLaren includes a limited set of apps,  but the driver must bring in the data connection as a USB dongle or tethered smartphone.

2015mclaren650sspider-033.jpg
22 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

The audio source menu automatically shows devices plugged into the car's USB port.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos