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Driving report synthesis / Synthèse des prises en main

12 Mai 2014 Publié dans #Essai, #Review

Quelques avis de la presse / Some opinions has per reviews published online.


From any angle the 650S looks stunning. It’s both more aggressive and sharper looking than the 12C which was faintly criticised for looking a bit generic. Drive Australia

Most of us at Top Gear don't actually think the 650S looks as elegant or well-proportioned as the 12C. Oh it's more dramatic, and it generates more downforce. But all that strange black swoopy stuff at the front reeks of facelift, and especially at the back makes the car look narrower and higher. Honestly, what is there left for Mansory to add? Top Gear

We also prefer the updated, P1-influenced styling penned by design director Frank Stephenson and his team. There is much more of a fanciful spirit going on – the 12C is a svelte thing, but it also is a bit anonymously styled, particularly up front. The 650S is decidedly more interesting to look at. Autoblog


Those reading multiple reviews of the new 650S will also note that McLaren is placing some emphasis on the 650S’s new brake booster. Now, brake boosters are not something one generally trumpets as important, especially when one has 641 horsepower to boast, not to mention cross-linked, computer-controlled suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. But this last is the reason for the need for said brake booster (lifted, by the way, from the P1, probably another good reason for them to brag about it). You see, carbon ceramic brakes, for all their stopping power at high speed, need a lot of heat to be effective. Crawling around town doesn’t generate that heat and, in heavy traffic, ceramic brakes can feel decidedly uncooperative, needing extra effort on the pedal to slow the car down. The 650′s P1-derived brake booster provides just that extra pressure, making those huge 394-mm discs as sensitive as a Camry’s. Driving

The first thing I will mention about track driving is what is still rattling around in my brain days later. The carbon-ceramic brakes, standard on the 650S, are astounding in the wet. Obviously the rest of the car is part of the equation, but the braking force generated by this car, especially in the rain, is mind-blowing. One of the complaints I had with the 12C was the lack of linearity in the brake pedal. You always felt like you had a road section of the travel, a dead spot, and then a track section of the travel. The track section didn't have a lot of variability, either -- it was just hard braking. McLaren addressed the problem with a new brake pedal assembly and booster. The pedal now builds pressure continuously from a soft bite around town, to big, BIG efforts on the track. Rolling out of the brakes -- key to smooth corner entry -- is better now, too. On the 12C it felt like as soon as you lifted, the brakes stopped clamping and it upset the car. The 650S allows such smooth transitions, that it's like pressing a bare foot against the brake rotor. Motor Trend

The braking of the 650S is disgustingly good. It's braking so good that it makes you actually hate it. The 12C would cut in ABS a bit earlier than you'd like under a hard stop. Not so here. It's not very active, it comes in late, and if you think you've overshot a corner, you haven't. The braking is stable at the limit, with no real drama or movement. The standard carbon ceramic brakes are up there as the best ever. Jalopnik

In the past this poise would occasionally have been disrupted by the braking, but not any more. The 650 comes as standard with carbon ceramic discs, but where there used to be a horrible dead feeling at the top of the pedal travel followed by an abrupt application of pad to disc, there is now superb feelsome progression. Evo

The standard-issue carbon ceramic brakes have been much-improved after many hours of extra development from chief test driver Chris Goodwin and his team to the stage where they allow super-progressive braking from any speed and are simply beyond reproach. Forty One Six


The seven-speed dual clutch remains the same, but has been reprogramed for faster and smoother shifts. It now barks on upshifts in street mode and snatches gears in track mode as fast as anything I have felt. The difference now is that the transmission is silky smooth. Driving around town, there was none of the jerkiness or hesitation you get with some twin-clutches. Uptake is smooth, and rolling around in parking lots might even have you thinking you have a torque converter. Motor Trend


Perhaps the most impressive bit, though, is the suspension, which is even better than the 12C’s thanks to some new components derived from those on the P1. It’s much stiffer than the 12C’s, allowing the body to stay even flatter under hard cornering; no matter how fast you’re going, you’ll struggle to detect any roll whatsoever. However, the really spooky bit is how smoothly the car also manages to ride. Thanks to some seriously clever new dampers, there’s none of the punishing bumpiness that you’d expect from a car with such taut control; it glides smoothly over bumps and ruts and, if you select the softest of thee three suspension settings, it’ll waft along as comfortably as most executive saloons. Autotrader

Speaking of silky smooth, the 650S rides better than the 12C, which is to say even better than one of the most comfortable sports cars around. Motor Trend


Even in this foul weather, the 650S becomes more stable and more controllable the less the stability controls are activated. Why? Because you feel everything in the 650S, through the steering wheel, the seat of your pants, the firm brake pedal. Indeed, few cars communicate with such clarity each individual wheel’s amount of grip. It tells you in no uncertain terms when the driver is approaching his own limits—or more accurately, when it’s approaching the driver’s limits—and the more times we lapped Ascari, the higher the limits seemed to get. The 650S is a patient teacher, always at your level, and it allows you to climb its learning curve quickly and happily. Car & Driver


But there it is; despite that Formula 1 input, the 650S’ best trick is its day-to-day usefulness and comfort, and if there’s ever been a supercar that was made for fetching the morning’s bread and milk, this is it. Drive Australia

What the 2015 McLaren 650S does extremely well is strike a perfect balance between what today’s average supercar customers expect, and what the experienced hard-core enthusiast is used to. GT Spirit

Quand on parle du caractère des voitures sportives, on sous-entend « gros caractère », voire « sale caractère ». Et c’est vrai, c’est ce qui les rend enthousiasmantes. Ici, McLaren vient d’inventer un truc : la sportive qui a bon caractère. Et ce n’est pas moins enthousiasmant. Le Soir

It is an intensely satisfying car to take on the attack, but one that will also cross continents in comfort, without forcing you to fry your brain with the effort. That these two sides to the 650S co-exist so happily is a sensational achievement. MSN

Compared to the 12C

And that brings us to another of the criticisms levelled at the 12C – that it has been engineered to the point where it isn’t as much fun as it could have been; that there is no passion. This isn’t the case with the 650S; it is pure, rapturous driving pleasure, and the passion inherent in McLaren and their pursuit to deliver an unrivalled supercar is evident with everything to see, touch, hear, and feel, and with every turn of the wheels. It is an astonishing achievement.

The 650S delivers a stripped-out, pared-down experience but with a superior ride and full, luxurious interior. It’s simply given the competition a whole new basis for comparison and we can’t wait to drive the responses from Germany and Italy. Bring it on. Forty One Six

Far more than just a McLaren 12C with the volume turned up to 11, the 2015 McLaren 650S is the car that hard-core enthusiasts wished the 12C had been from the outset.

That also makes it is the most complete sub-£300,000 mid-engined supercar money can buy right now, which is exactly what McLaren set out to achieve in the first place. GT Spirit

I t’s so good, in fact, that it makes the 12C feel a little bit outdated, and arguably, the 12C was already the finest supercar of its type. That’s quite some praise for the 650S. Autotrader

What to complain about

Finition perfectible / GPS… toujours pas ça / Ergonomie de certaines commandes. Le Soir

Downsides? Well, the controls for the optional electric seats are rather fiddly and the infotainment system is a mess. The navigation system is woefully clunky to use, it doesn’t give clear enough instructions and it’s frustratingly slow to update. And, if you specify the optional reversing camera, it’s entirely possible you’ll have finished your reversing manoeuvre before the picture appears on the screen. Autotrader

With its menacing looks and newfound dynamic proficiency, our remaining gripes are less significant: the doors need to be slammed hard to fully close, the infotainment interface is still fussy, and option pricing is obnoxious even by supercar standards. But in all honesty, if we could afford the car, we could live with those issues. Car & Driver

Pure performance has its own thrill, of that there is no doubt, but there’s some emotion still lacking in the 650S. I got to the end of several fast runs feeling in awe of and slightly giddy with the speed, but not elated and grinning at the driving experience. I think a big part of the problem is the sound. The turbocharged engine simply doesn’t make a noise that you crave. There’s supposedly a new cylinder cut on upshifts when you’re in Sport mode, but sadly I couldn’t really detect the added drama it was meant to add and although overall it’s not a bad sound being piped into the cabin, you won’t lie awake at night longing for the next time you hear it. Evo

Driving report synthesis / Synthèse des prises en main
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