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McLaren Unveils 911 Beater

McLaren Unveils 911 Beater

McLaren 570S

This is the new 570S, and unless I had pointed out to you that this is in fact new, I am sure many of you would have assumed it to be the 650S.

The design, as you can probably tell, borrows heavily from the P1 and 650S, especially in the front, where the only notable differences are slightly larger headlights, and a new front spoiler. The rear is an all new design, taking inspiration from the P1. It looks quite cute, if a little dull.

mclaren-570s-leaked-prior-to-new-york-auto-show-debut_25

The internals are very much the same story as the rest of the McLaren range. Mid-engine layout, 3.8 litre V8, this time de-tuned to produce 562 bhp, and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It will hit 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, and go in to reach a top speed of 204 mph. Interestingly, the 570S is fairly light, tipping the scales at 1313 kg, which is about 150 kg lighter than one of its key rivals, the Audi R8 V10 Plus. This low weight is in part thanks to their MonoCell II chassis, which has been tweaked slightly for the 570S.

Inside, the cabin is noticeably different to McLaren’s other cars. Its more usable, more luxurious than the 650S and is intended to give greater emphasis on interior comfort. There is more cabin storage than the rest of the McLaren line-up, leather upholstery, and even a 144 litre luggage boot, which is apparently best-in-class.

McLaren 570S

Overall not an immensely exciting vehicle. The 570S is mainly designed to fit within a gap of the market, rather than showing off its technical prowess. At about £130,000, its clearly aimed to be the “baby” McLaren, intending to poach customers from Audi and Porsche. I am sure it will sell well and be a great source of income for McLaren.  Personally, I couldn’t live with knowing that the engine I have got has been detuned just to fit within a segment of the market. It feels like marketing, rather than engineering.  I would have preferred a smaller capacity engine or a different engine entirely to the twin-turbo V8.

The 570S will be available in showrooms over the coming months, with a starting price of about £130,000.

The Longtail Is Back!

The Longtail Is Back!

mclaren-675lt-05-1

McLaren has finally taken wraps off their 675LT, after a series of teaser shots and videos. This is a harder, faster and lighter version of their 650S supercar, a car already known for being quite nippy.

The LT, which stands for Longtail, is a name which harks back to the 1997 McLaren F1 Longtail. The 675LT will sit alongside the 650S Coupe and Spider line-up, as the Ferrari 458 Speciale did with the 458 Italia and 458 Spider.

675lt side

The LT uses the same twin-turbo 3.8 litre V8 engine, thoroughly reworked to produced 666 bhp. McLaren claims that 50% of the engine is all-new, with titanium exhaust pipes among many of the modifications.

Externally, there has been extensive use of lightweight materials, resulting in an overall reduction of 100 kg over the weight of the 650S. Couple this extra 25 bhp with this lighter weight will push this car to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Top speed is 2 mph lower than the 650S due to the aerodynamic modifications.

675lt back

The 675LT will make its debut in the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

 

 

Ferrari FXX K Revealed

Ferrari FXX K Revealed

Ferrari FxxK Front

The FXX programme is back, with the FXX K. Based on the LaFerrari hypercar, the FXX K is a track-only machine designed for a few distinct clients, to test as-yet unseen technologies which could make their way to future Ferraris. Ferrari will only make forty FXX Ks, all of which are sold out.

The K in the name stands for KERS, the kinetic recovery system complimenting the 6.3 litre V12 engine for a total output of 1036 bhp and over 900 NM of torque. Weight is down too, by about 90kg over the standard LaFerrari. Ferrari has yet to reveal the official details of this car, but it said the FXX K is capable of reaching 62 mph in under 3 seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph.

Ferrari FXXK Side

The main thing though, is its design. It is designed with a specific purpose of obliterating any sort of track, but besides that, it just looks brilliant. It looks like it was designed by a nine year old, with giant splitters and massive wings everywhere. All those wings apparently improve downforce by as much as 50%, compared to the LaFerrari. All these modifications mean that the FXX K can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track a full five seconds faster than the LaFerrari.

The infamous ‘manettino’ switch, which controls the traction control on all modern Ferraris has been modified for this car to include four new settings. These are Qualify Mode, which provides the maximum power for a small number of laps, Long Run, which sets the car up for longer stints, Manual Boost Mode, which delivers maximum torque instantly, and finally Fast Charge which can recharge the car’s battery. Clearly, the new system has been designed specifically for track use, and it is not entirely clear how this will be translated on to future future road cars. The FXX K isn’t homologated for any race series, but is intended to be a technical showcase for future Ferrari road cars.

Ferrari FXXK Back

Price, you ask? An eye-watering 2.2 million euros. You spend all that money and you don’t even get to take the car home with you. Ferrari keeps the car and every so often it organises a race event for you to drive the car. That is to ensure that clients do not sell the car’s latest innovations to other brands.

While this will not technically have any rivals as the FXX K will be restricted to track use, this car is comparable to Mclaren’s P1 GTR, which produces 986 bhp, and is also a track-only vehicle.  Hopefully, one day, when neither Ferrari nor Mclaren are looking, someone will race them against one another. Here is to hoping.

The McLaren 650S; A Car With Me In Mind

The McLaren 650S; A Car With Me In Mind

The 650S takes cues from both the P1 and the MP4-12C.
The 650S takes cues from both the P1 and the MP4-12C.

This is McLaren’s latest creation, the 650S, a car I am not entirely sure what it is supposed to take on.

Let’s begin with the stats. It uses a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, like the rest of the McLaren range. However this time, it produces 641 bhp (or 650PS as the name suggests), and will reach a top speed of 207mph.  It is £20,000 more expensive than the 12C, but you get more kit as standard, such as carbon-ceramic brakes, a revised satnav with DAB radio and LED headlights. It also has its own brand new tires to tame all those ponies, which has been designed specifically for this car by Pirelli.

Inside it is very similar to the 12C, with Alcantara trim and a touchscreen infotainment system. The outside is an interesting blend of P1 front, with 12C rear. Clearly McLaren overheard me saying how I don’t like the rear of the P1 and how I find the front of the 12C to be a little dull, and decided to design this car just for me. How very considerate of them.

This is all lovely, however we must address the elephant in the room. Where exactly does this car fit within Mclaren’s own line-up? Many of you might say this is a replacement to the 12C, but I am afraid not. The 12C will remain in production along with the 650S. Maybe its a more hardcore version of the 12C? Possibly, it does have a slightly stiffer set up than the 12C, however nowhere does it state that this car is any lighter than the outgoing 12C.

Prices start at £190,000 for the 650S. Cheap, if you are billionaire playboy. Not so cheap for the rest of us.
Prices start at £190,000 for the 650S. Cheap, if you are billionaire playboy. Not so cheap for the rest of us.

Truth be told this car has no rivals as such. It seems to be lost in a wilderness of mid-engined supercars. Rumours suggest that this is the 12C McLaren engineers wanted first time round but for some reason didn’t get, maybe due to budget constraints. Whatever the reasoning behind this car, I welcome it among the choices of mid-engined V8 supercardom.

However, a concern that does come to mind is that this might be Mclaren’s Virage. Remember the Aston Martin Virage that came out a couple of years ago that was meant to bridge the gap between the DB9 and the DBS but ended up being a car nobody could ever justify buying? I wonder if this 650S might have the same future as the Virage, or, possibly, make the 12C  McLaren’s Virage. Either way, these two cars seem too close to one another for safety, and either one of them risk stealing sales from the other. The logical solution would be either to drop one of them, or to make one cheaper/more expensive than the other such that the gap between the 12C and the 650S widens. As it stands £20,000 is not enough of a gap (lets face it, if you can afford £170,000, you can afford £190,000), so what would tempt one person to buy one car and not the other?

This seems like am easy school boy error to make for a relatively new company like McLaren. Ferrari, McLaren’s main rival, is extremely careful to make sure none of its models overlap each other, and makes doubly certain that its sister companies, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, do impinge onto Ferrari’s territory.

Maybe McLaren should take a leaf out of Ferrari’s book. Just a thought.