Living with a McLaren 650s Spider as an (almost) daily

Living with a McLaren 650s Spider as an (almost) daily

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MAC 720S

574 posts

93 months

Saturday 21st September
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justin220 said:
Petrol stations are always an experience, almost always get asked a question or a comment made.

I find it staggering how different your consumption is, I actually find mine quite economical considering the performance. I'm either not trying hard enough or the on board computer is a liar. Never seen below 25mpg for a rank with my 540.
Rarely see above 18 mpg for me. Only on a long motorway slog will I see above 20mpg.

12pack

885 posts

114 months

Saturday 21st September
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15 mpg here on a 650s spider with revs above 5 k for a healthy portion and several pedal-to-the-metal occasions on my usual weekend drive. 8 mpg on track.

12pack

885 posts

114 months

Sunday 22nd September
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Well, had my usual morning hoon in the 650s on wet roads this morning. Then had a couple of errands to run so I took the V12 Vantage - pretty much back to back, with the roads drying.

Both are great cars in their own ways. It’s still a pleasure to row that manual, and the V12 sounded great.

But with the backlight down, the 650s’ snarling howl is pure adrenaline. The suspension and traction are light years better on my bumpy B roads. And then there’s the pace. Mac SS have got to be the ultimate performance road cars.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 23rd September
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Glad other people are seeing similar mpg - was beginning to think my car had a fuel leak! I'm assuming Justin doesn't drive that differently to the rest of us (although he probably sees less traffic) - I thought we had basically the same engine, so is it just the different state of tune which explains the difference in mpg?

12pack said:
Well, had my usual morning hoon in the 650s on wet roads this morning. Then had a couple of errands to run so I took the V12 Vantage - pretty much back to back, with the roads drying.

Both are great cars in their own ways. It’s still a pleasure to row that manual, and the V12 sounded great.

But with the backlight down, the 650s’ snarling howl is pure adrenaline. The suspension and traction are light years better on my bumpy B roads. And then there’s the pace. Mac SS have got to be the ultimate performance road cars.
Impressed you still take it out for a blast in the wet - although I guess you're right they're so capable there isn't any reason not to. And I certainly intend to use mine for normal activities when it's raining.

One question : When do people use neutral? I've been sticking mine in neutral when I stop at red lights - but because it's pretty slow changing back into first (seems to take about 1 second) I'm beginning to think it's a bad idea. If I was in a normal car - and left it in gear - the clutch would be fully in and wouldn't be wearing anyway. I assume the McLaren is the same, and if I've got the brake pressed it doesn't really make any difference if it's still in gear?

Larry5.2

404 posts

54 months

Monday 23rd September
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On a normal car the release bearing and the crankshaft thrust bearing are being loaded, hence wearing, when you have the clutch pedal down. I guess thats the same with a Mc DCT?

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 23rd September
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Larry5.2 said:
On a normal car the release bearing and the crankshaft thrust bearing are being loaded, hence wearing, when you have the clutch pedal down. I guess thats the same with a Mc DCT?
I guess - although I'm not sure I've ever noticed clutches on my previous cars wearing prematurely as a result of that.

I don't really understand why neutral -> 1st is so painfully slow. It isn't when you make other gear changes - but it's the one gear change where a true manual with a gear stick is probably faster!

12pack

885 posts

114 months

Monday 23rd September
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davek_964 said:
I guess - although I'm not sure I've ever noticed clutches on my previous cars wearing prematurely as a result of that.

I don't really understand why neutral -> 1st is so painfully slow. It isn't when you make other gear changes - but it's the one gear change where a true manual with a gear stick is probably faster!
AFAIK, the Mac SSG uses a wet clutch, and as such (as you can expect for a high torque motor) has very little slippage when engaged. So while indeed its a bit like keeping a manual clutch depressed, the amount of wear and load is minimal compared to what the drive train is spec'd to. I just leave it in D.

Edited by 12pack on Monday 23 September 11:50

355spiderguy

577 posts

117 months

Monday 23rd September
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12pack said:
15 mpg here on a 650s spider with revs above 5 k for a healthy portion and several pedal-to-the-metal occasions on my usual weekend drive. 8 mpg on track.
I have only checked out mpg readings twice since i got it...on the 400mile journey after purchasing and latterly the drive through when it was in to be serviced...otherwise i just fill it up when its near empty so cannot comment on what it does on the lots of short journeys for going to shops, takeaways or just fannying about...i guess it will be horrendous.

My wives car has the mpg display always on and whether you drive it like a nun or like you stole it it does around 17mpg...

Fuel economy has never really been a topic of interest to me, whereas my old man is obsessed by it.

Bispal

547 posts

97 months

Tuesday 24th September
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This is my actual MPG from a 1,850 mile Alpine tour. The following year I did a similar tour of 2,500 miles including the South of France & Alps. I got the same MPG, 27. On the M-Way I regularly did a 600 mile round trip which saw 31mpg. A nice B road Sunday blast would get into the hign teens, low 20's and a track day in single figures. But daily driving was always in the mid to high 20's.


Kyodo

585 posts

70 months

Tuesday 24th September
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justin220 said:
Petrol stations are always an experience, almost always get asked a question or a comment made.
I find that with our 360 too and it seems to be getting more attention than ever!

Dave, your write up on the 650 is really interesting. It shows how good a daily it can be if now the Porsche is sitting idle too.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 30th September
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Car was at McLaren Ascot all week, to get the wheels refurbed + stick the LHS rear bumper cheek on properly + check the suspension warning. Was hoping to get it back Friday afternoon, but it wasn't ready until mid-morning Saturday. Wheels look great - they actually look darker to me, but I don't think they can be - diamond cut can't really be darker given that it's basically just the alloy. In any case, they look good.
Rear bumper cheek seems firmly attached now.
Suspension fluid was apparently a little low - they think that is probably the cause of the error message (especially since the two times it's happened was when the car was re-lifting as I reversed off the drive) so they topped it up.
All done at no cost to me.

I REALLY missed the car last week. Initially, this made me think that meant I'd reached the point where I'd decided this is definitely the car for me - which I hadn't reached when I dropped it off. But absence makes the heart etc. etc. However, I later realised this wasn't really the case. If I drop the Ferrari off for a service, I still had the Aston / Alfa. If I dropped the Aston off for a service, I still had the Alfa.
Without the McLaren, I had........ the Cayenne (it really wasn't Ferrari weather last week) - and I really didn't want to be using it even though it was the right weather for it. Partly, I think that's because I haven't cleaned it in a long time, and it really did feel like a skip inside - really needed a hoover! I eventually gave it a clean this weekend, so it is at least a slightly more pleasant place to be. I am debating whether I need a cheap smaller car though, for days I don't have / don't want to use the 650.

I had been looking forward to getting the car back all week - but when I did, it was a bit of an anti-climax. I had a few things to do Sat morning, so was mostly running around town - the fact that the car is so good as a useable daily counts against it a bit I think. It is brilliant at it - one of the best daily cars I've ever owned - but it's a very expensive way of driving to the shops, and I have a nagging thought that it's massive overkill and I should simply buy a Ford Fiesta......

My best friend has been busy with various things since I bought the car and he finally saw it on Saturday - we went out for a brief run. Apparently, he hasn't ever been in my 360 - although I think both his kids have - but he did go in my (mapped) 996 turbo several times. We only accelerated briefly up a dual carriageway, but suffice to say he was amazed. Much much quicker than the 911 turbo (as you'd expect) and "proper proper fast - it's a proper supercar".

This morning, I really am beginning to doubt the build quality of these cars. I stopped at Tesco on the way to work. Opened the bonnet with the keyfob, and loaded the shopping in.
Opened the door, and a high pitched whine started - there was a couple getting into the car in front of mine, so at that point I wasn't sure if it was my car. Got in, closed the door (window went up) - and it's dead. No dash display, nothing. Got the key out of my pocket (although I know it tells me if it can't find it) but that made no difference.
Tried to open the door - nothing. Completely dead - I thought I may have to use the strap.
Pressed the start button to try and wake the car up - and the alarm sounded. Stopped it with the keyfob and then it was back to normal, and I drove to work with the roof down.

It may never do it again - but it was pretty annoying. It seems the car let me in, but then behaved as if it was completely off. Not good.

I do really like the car - but I am beginning to think that the stories of McLaren (un)reliability may be true. I've owned the car about 5 weeks - one week of which I didn't have it - and I've had suspension warnings twice, climate control going into calibration mode, bodywork coming loose, a dead car when I get into it followed by an alarm..........
My 18 year old 360 - with Italian electrics - has far less issues than this, as did the Vantage.

The car needs to start behaving itself. They may simply be niggles - but this is (by far) the most expensive car I've ever bought, and it is the car I will lose the most money on. I don't expect it to behave as if I'm a Beta tester - or if it does, it needs to be rare.


Edited by davek_964 on Monday 30th September 07:04

12pack

885 posts

114 months

Monday 30th September
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DaveK, are you actually using the car daily - or using a battery conditioner? This is the sort of issue one associates with low battery voltage. Perhaps get the battery checked?

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 30th September
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12pack said:
DaveK, are you actually using the car daily - or using a battery conditioner? This is the sort of issue one associates with low battery voltage. Perhaps get the battery checked?
Car is used pretty much every day - and I do check the battery indicator when I use the car, it always looks full. In fact, I went into the battery info page while I was waiting for somebody on Saturday and it said 97%.
If I don't use the car for more than a day, I plug the conditioner in.

As far as I can tell, the battery is fine and is always at least 95% (although I guess the car did sit at Ascot for a few months, so don't know if it went flat there).

355spiderguy

577 posts

117 months

Monday 30th September
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davek_964 said:
Car is used pretty much every day - and I do check the battery indicator when I use the car, it always looks full. In fact, I went into the battery info page while I was waiting for somebody on Saturday and it said 97%.
If I don't use the car for more than a day, I plug the conditioner.

As far as I can tell, the battery is fine and is always at least 95% (although I guess the car did sit at Ascot for a few months, so don't know if it went flat there).
Hi davek; do enjoy reading your 650 posts, but do feel a bit disappointed for you that you are having issues.

I have had the more or less identical car for 6mths or so and even if i wasn't too lazy to write up posts about it, i would be a pretty boring read as i have had no issues of any note...i try to use it almost daily for every possible journey; long or short, rain or sunshine.

Mines also sits outside, and have never used the charger.

I agree with 12pack and your thoughts; a battery that maybe discharged whilst sitting for sale could be what is causing issues.

Glad your happy with the wheel refurb. I had no doubts McLaren would rectify it was just disappointed they gave it to you like that.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 30th September
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To be fair to the car - after a day of Monday blues at work, drove home in manual mode with the rear window down and arrived home with a smile on my facesmile

justin220

4,183 posts

150 months

Monday 30th September
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It does sound like you have been particularly unlucky with yours but good to hear you are persisting with it. Hopefully it comes good

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 30th September
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Despite the negative issue this morning, the journey home turned an important corner for me.

The one thing the Ferrari has always been able to do - and only the Ferrari has been able to do - is make me smile at the end of a journey, even when I started the journey in a bad mood.
Today, that's exactly what the 650 did. It's a major milestone.

apmcconv

4 posts

1 month

Monday 30th September
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davek_964 said:
Despite the negative issue this morning, the journey home turned an important corner for me.

The one thing the Ferrari has always been able to do - and only the Ferrari has been able to do - is make me smile at the end of a journey, even when I started the journey in a bad mood.
Today, that's exactly what the 650 did. It's a major milestone.
Superb! I was getting worried that you were not enjoying ownership. Thanks for the continued honest review.

LotusJas

866 posts

177 months

Tuesday 1st October
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It took me many months before I felt comfortable really pushing my 720S, and even now I only do so in perfect conditions. And it still commands 100% of my attention on full power - it is so brutally quick.

I reckon you will feel very differently about your car next summer when you have had more chance to really get to know it.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 2nd October
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I am actually pretty happy with it now - although the main problem is I simply want to drive it all the time. Had to use the Cayenne yesterday because my mate needed a lift to the station on the way to work - and although I did take him out in the 650 at the weekend, let's say that his entry and exit from the car was...... challenging. And that was with the roof down. It wasn't worth the effort yesterday.

That meant I felt I'd missed my 650 fix by the evening - so despite fairly torrential rain, I decided I needed a run to the supermarket.

Actually - having said there are no disadvantages to a Spider - it seems my roof leaks slightly in torrential rain. There were a couple of drips on the back of the passenger seat. It's not something I'm too worried about - the rain has been very heavy, and it was only a couple of drips - but it is something they need to check at the service in December, particularly since the car lives outside. In fact, I'm not sure it's that surprising - with the roof closed, you can see that the seal between the front / rear roof panels is not even - as you face the front of the car, on the driver side the seal is sitting slightly proud of the roof. About half way across the car, it suddenly dips down and is no longer proud - it's actually slightly below the roof panels. I guess it's probably not supposed to be, but they can sort it out in December - if I find anything is getting damp inside, I'll take it back sooner.

Joined MOC a few days ago - still reluctant since I despise FB. But at least if there are local events, I'll know about them (I actually joined the day after a Surrey breakfast run which is a shame!).
Also ordered a private plate, so I guess I'm keeping it for a while yet!