A Masterpiece of Design: The McLaren 650S Can-Am

McLaren 650S Can-Am on racetrack

A Legend Returns

The McLaren 650S is a design masterpiece that captures the hearts and imaginations of everyone fortunate enough to view it in the flesh. It is inspired by the Can-Am cars used in track races beginning in 1966.

Bruce McLaren himself competed in the very first year. In these daring races, there were very few rules. In fact, only the car’s dimensions, a small amount of safety equipment, enclosed wheels, and two seats were required. As one can imagine, this resulted in a lot of variety on the track.  

Can-Am was an early love for everyone at McLaren. The team went on to win an impressive nine out of ten Can-Am races that year, as well as the championship – a fitting tribute to their founder.

The Colors of Its Forebears  

Hearkening back to their winning racers, the McLaren 650S has a distinctive look. There are three exterior paint options: Mars Red, Papaya Spark, and Onyx Black. All have five-spoke black alloy wheels, and the retractable hardtop and airbrake are finished in carbon fiber.

The Mars Red is a metallic paint that really highlights the impressive bodywork of the 650S. This was the color of the very first McLaren Can-Am car. Most often, however, the original cars were painted the traditional McLaren Orange, which is represented in the new vehicles with the Papaya Spark color. The Onyx Black is also highly representative of the Can-Am racing era.

Outstanding Performance

The 650S doesn’t just look like a race car – it performs like one. The lightweight MonoCell chassis envelopes the driver while the mid-mounted twin turbo V8 engine propels you forward. The lightweight carbon fiber allows the car an incredible power-to-ground ratio of 485 PS and takes you from zero to sixty two in three seconds flat.

But racing is not all about blind speed, and McLaren knows this. The suspension is pleasingly stiff, allowing the vehicle to slide around corners with ease and handle rough roads with not a whisper of complaint or a jolt to the passengers.  

Beautiful Outside, Beautiful Inside

The 650S puts the driver first in every way, and the interior is no exception. All the materials used are of the highest quality, from the double-stitched leather seats to the carbon-fiber finished console and sill covers. The seats feature Alcantara centers that have contrasting colors depending on the exterior paint.

If that’s not enough to set your car apart, McLaren allows further personalization of the 650S Can-Am. There are upgrades for the Meridian sound system as well as McLaren Track Telemetry that can be used to scrutinize your latest lap around the track.

You can keep up to date with the latest from McLaren by subscribing to The Auto Gallery newsletter.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply