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

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

Author
Discussion

Kent Border Kenny

1,601 posts

19 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
That's great, thanks. I'd assumed you meant coming out between the windscreen and the dashboard, so I'm very pleased I didn't go and attempt that.

Bispal

855 posts

110 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Kent Border Kenny said:
That's great, thanks. I'd assumed you meant coming out between the windscreen and the dashboard, so I'm very pleased I didn't go and attempt that.
No way! That's far too difficult ;-)

davek_964

Original Poster:

7,008 posts

134 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Thought I'd give a quick update, since I seem to be the only person who isn't commenting the thread wink

The climate issue I mentioned last time didn't happen again. I'd put it down as a normal niggle, but am suspicious after having a similar problem last year (though worse). But hopefully, it won't happen again.

A few other niggles have popped up. Think I've mentioned before that my engine lid cover refused to open once - it seems to happen quite often, so I'll get it looked at in December when it's serviced. Sounds like it doesn't even try to unlatch (always passenger side that fails) - but will usually work the next day. It might even be that it fails more often when hot but I've not proved that.
Other issue is a fairly common McLaren one - my drivers window has started opening when it shouldn't. When we had heavy rain a few weeks ago, it was opening when I opened the door (not as the door unlatched, only as I lifted the door). Always goes back up with the switch fortunately. It's done it a couple of times since - even in drier weather - so again, I'll get it checked at the service. I did see a post somewhere saying this only happens to cars with soft close - mine never did it before, and I did get soft close fitted a few months ago - so I guess that could be true. But I'm not convinced.

Apart from that, the car has been fine. I've been forcing myself to be a bit more aggressive with the steering, and although it doesn't come naturally to me, it does make the car turn in better, and I'm beginning to get used to it. Roads have cooled down though, and the difference in grip is already clear.

I still have mixed feelings about whether I should keep the car. In some ways it's perfect - it does everything I want, and in fact is good enough that I've given up on the idea of going back to having 3 cars. That was my plan when I sold the 360, but I know I won't use anything else. In fact - I'm still not using the Cayenne, despite my best intentions because less sunny weather, still WFH and online supermarket deliveries mean that I only use a car a few times a week now - and that means I want it to be the 650!
However - for me, I still think the 650 is missing something. I loved the 360 - even after 6 years of ownership - and it could really put a smile on my face even if I wasn't happy when I set off in it. The 650 just doesn't click in the same way for me - I hope that will change, because I love lots of things about it - but it doesn't quite tick all the boxes for me. Hopefully, that will change - although probably not over winter - but we'll see. If I feel the same way next Spring, then I'll probably call it a day - but I hope that won't be the case.

I might update after the service in December if there is any news - but I'm using PH less these days, and intend to continue that - so updates are going to get pretty sporadic.

Kent Border Kenny

1,601 posts

19 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Putting my 650 in the parking space where I can leave it on charge is going to cause too much marital strife, so it’ll live without a connection most of the time, and it’s possible that there could be occasions where it’ll go a month without a proper run, does anyone have any tips on how to avoid a flat battery?

I could stick it on charge once a fortnight, overnight, by leaving another car out on the road, I could buy a decent capacity lithium battery to stick in the boot, connected to the socket, or make sure that at least once every three weeks it gets used, with the extra battery seeming like the least annoying option.

Bispal

855 posts

110 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Kent Border Kenny said:
Putting my 650 in the parking space where I can leave it on charge is going to cause too much marital strife, so it’ll live without a connection most of the time, and it’s possible that there could be occasions where it’ll go a month without a proper run, does anyone have any tips on how to avoid a flat battery?

I could stick it on charge once a fortnight, overnight, by leaving another car out on the road, I could buy a decent capacity lithium battery to stick in the boot, connected to the socket, or make sure that at least once every three weeks it gets used, with the extra battery seeming like the least annoying option.
Lithium batteries really need conditioning all the time. You can get away without it but its always a risk. You should also upgrade the McLaren charger too to a CTEK LITHIUM XS UK The one provided with your car will be 10 year old tech and not very good. I have been known to charge some of my cars in the street with an extension cable when I have had space issues and never had a problem. I would try and get it on a charger if you can.



WilliamWaiver

439 posts

4 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
Thought I'd give a quick update, since I seem to be the only person who isn't commenting the thread wink

The climate issue I mentioned last time didn't happen again. I'd put it down as a normal niggle, but am suspicious after having a similar problem last year (though worse). But hopefully, it won't happen again.

A few other niggles have popped up. Think I've mentioned before that my engine lid cover refused to open once - it seems to happen quite often, so I'll get it looked at in December when it's serviced. Sounds like it doesn't even try to unlatch (always passenger side that fails) - but will usually work the next day. It might even be that it fails more often when hot but I've not proved that.
Other issue is a fairly common McLaren one - my drivers window has started opening when it shouldn't. When we had heavy rain a few weeks ago, it was opening when I opened the door (not as the door unlatched, only as I lifted the door). Always goes back up with the switch fortunately. It's done it a couple of times since - even in drier weather - so again, I'll get it checked at the service. I did see a post somewhere saying this only happens to cars with soft close - mine never did it before, and I did get soft close fitted a few months ago - so I guess that could be true. But I'm not convinced.

Apart from that, the car has been fine. I've been forcing myself to be a bit more aggressive with the steering, and although it doesn't come naturally to me, it does make the car turn in better, and I'm beginning to get used to it. Roads have cooled down though, and the difference in grip is already clear.

I still have mixed feelings about whether I should keep the car. In some ways it's perfect - it does everything I want, and in fact is good enough that I've given up on the idea of going back to having 3 cars. That was my plan when I sold the 360, but I know I won't use anything else. In fact - I'm still not using the Cayenne, despite my best intentions because less sunny weather, still WFH and online supermarket deliveries mean that I only use a car a few times a week now - and that means I want it to be the 650!
However - for me, I still think the 650 is missing something. I loved the 360 - even after 6 years of ownership - and it could really put a smile on my face even if I wasn't happy when I set off in it. The 650 just doesn't click in the same way for me - I hope that will change, because I love lots of things about it - but it doesn't quite tick all the boxes for me. Hopefully, that will change - although probably not over winter - but we'll see. If I feel the same way next Spring, then I'll probably call it a day - but I hope that won't be the case.

I might update after the service in December if there is any news - but I'm using PH less these days, and intend to continue that - so updates are going to get pretty sporadic.
Would mean at least doubling your budget but a 675LT would leave you wanting for nothing.
Totally different beast to a 650S and mclaren totally hit the nail on the head with the LT.

Driver engagement, feel, excitement, sound are all different gravy to regular car but still in a very usable package IMHO.
You would never think its the same basic car the transformation is so dramatic

Kent Border Kenny

1,601 posts

19 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Bispal said:
Lithium batteries really need conditioning all the time. You can get away without it but its always a risk. You should also upgrade the McLaren charger too to a CTEK LITHIUM XS UK The one provided with your car will be 10 year old tech and not very good. I have been known to charge some of my cars in the street with an extension cable when I have had space issues and never had a problem. I would try and get it on a charger if you can.
Thanks.

In that case I may go for a leisure battery with an inverter powering a new CTEK.

Asking my wife to park her car in the McLaren’s space would cost me far more pain than replacing the battery once in a while, no matter how expensive.


650spider

1,286 posts

130 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Kent Border Kenny said:
Putting my 650 in the parking space where I can leave it on charge is going to cause too much marital strife, so it’ll live without a connection most of the time, and it’s possible that there could be occasions where it’ll go a month without a proper run, does anyone have any tips on how to avoid a flat battery?

I could stick it on charge once a fortnight, overnight, by leaving another car out on the road, I could buy a decent capacity lithium battery to stick in the boot, connected to the socket, or make sure that at least once every three weeks it gets used, with the extra battery seeming like the least annoying option.
In 19 months I never plugged my charger in once; it is actually still sealed in the McLaren bag so I am guessing it has never been used.

Longest time left standing was around 6 weeks last year due to a slightly longer family holiday, but even then it showed 90 odd % when started.

Car has stayed outside for the whole time of ownership due to other stuff in the garages, so was subject to all 4 seasons.

Disclaimer being i did not require a tracker so had the Vodafone / McLaren one switched off, thereby reducing battery drain.

Battery is, however, rather expensive; I was told by Scott the service manager at McLaren Glasgow it was around £2500 to replace and one of the few things not covered by the bulletproof warranty.

Might be cheaper now...

Bispal

855 posts

110 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
650spider said:
Kent Border Kenny said:
Putting my 650 in the parking space where I can leave it on charge is going to cause too much marital strife, so it’ll live without a connection most of the time, and it’s possible that there could be occasions where it’ll go a month without a proper run, does anyone have any tips on how to avoid a flat battery?

I could stick it on charge once a fortnight, overnight, by leaving another car out on the road, I could buy a decent capacity lithium battery to stick in the boot, connected to the socket, or make sure that at least once every three weeks it gets used, with the extra battery seeming like the least annoying option.
In 19 months I never plugged my charger in once; it is actually still sealed in the McLaren bag so I am guessing it has never been used.

Longest time left standing was around 6 weeks last year due to a slightly longer family holiday, but even then it showed 90 odd % when started.

Car has stayed outside for the whole time of ownership due to other stuff in the garages, so was subject to all 4 seasons.

Disclaimer being i did not require a tracker so had the Vodafone / McLaren one switched off, thereby reducing battery drain.

Battery is, however, rather expensive; I was told by Scott the service manager at McLaren Glasgow it was around £2500 to replace and one of the few things not covered by the bulletproof warranty.

Might be cheaper now...
I would say you were lucky, the exception to the rule. Could be the tracker.

12pack

1,144 posts

127 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
Thought I'd give a quick update, since I seem to be the only person who isn't commenting the thread wink

The climate issue I mentioned last time didn't happen again. I'd put it down as a normal niggle, but am suspicious after having a similar problem last year (though worse). But hopefully, it won't happen again.

A few other niggles have popped up. Think I've mentioned before that my engine lid cover refused to open once - it seems to happen quite often, so I'll get it looked at in December when it's serviced. Sounds like it doesn't even try to unlatch (always passenger side that fails) - but will usually work the next day. It might even be that it fails more often when hot but I've not proved that.
Other issue is a fairly common McLaren one - my drivers window has started opening when it shouldn't. When we had heavy rain a few weeks ago, it was opening when I opened the door (not as the door unlatched, only as I lifted the door). Always goes back up with the switch fortunately. It's done it a couple of times since - even in drier weather - so again, I'll get it checked at the service. I did see a post somewhere saying this only happens to cars with soft close - mine never did it before, and I did get soft close fitted a few months ago - so I guess that could be true. But I'm not convinced.

Apart from that, the car has been fine. I've been forcing myself to be a bit more aggressive with the steering, and although it doesn't come naturally to me, it does make the car turn in better, and I'm beginning to get used to it. Roads have cooled down though, and the difference in grip is already clear.

I still have mixed feelings about whether I should keep the car. In some ways it's perfect - it does everything I want, and in fact is good enough that I've given up on the idea of going back to having 3 cars. That was my plan when I sold the 360, but I know I won't use anything else. In fact - I'm still not using the Cayenne, despite my best intentions because less sunny weather, still WFH and online supermarket deliveries mean that I only use a car a few times a week now - and that means I want it to be the 650!
However - for me, I still think the 650 is missing something. I loved the 360 - even after 6 years of ownership - and it could really put a smile on my face even if I wasn't happy when I set off in it. The 650 just doesn't click in the same way for me - I hope that will change, because I love lots of things about it - but it doesn't quite tick all the boxes for me. Hopefully, that will change - although probably not over winter - but we'll see. If I feel the same way next Spring, then I'll probably call it a day - but I hope that won't be the case.

I might update after the service in December if there is any news - but I'm using PH less these days, and intend to continue that - so updates are going to get pretty sporadic.
I’m the opposite. Absolutely hated my 355, and the 650 is really growing on me. The car can be driven with such precision - no fake dartiness built in like the Fezza. I’ve really got a lot better at left foot braking and now drive that way all the time in the 650. Makes a big difference with perceived throttle response, though I’ll go through brake pads quicker. (Luckily my daily driver Tesla warns me if both pedals are pressed - sometimes I forget which car I’m in).

650spider

1,286 posts

130 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Bispal said:
650spider said:
Kent Border Kenny said:
Putting my 650 in the parking space where I can leave it on charge is going to cause too much marital strife, so it’ll live without a connection most of the time, and it’s possible that there could be occasions where it’ll go a month without a proper run, does anyone have any tips on how to avoid a flat battery?

I could stick it on charge once a fortnight, overnight, by leaving another car out on the road, I could buy a decent capacity lithium battery to stick in the boot, connected to the socket, or make sure that at least once every three weeks it gets used, with the extra battery seeming like the least annoying option.
In 19 months I never plugged my charger in once; it is actually still sealed in the McLaren bag so I am guessing it has never been used.

Longest time left standing was around 6 weeks last year due to a slightly longer family holiday, but even then it showed 90 odd % when started.

Car has stayed outside for the whole time of ownership due to other stuff in the garages, so was subject to all 4 seasons.

Disclaimer being i did not require a tracker so had the Vodafone / McLaren one switched off, thereby reducing battery drain.

Battery is, however, rather expensive; I was told by Scott the service manager at McLaren Glasgow it was around £2500 to replace and one of the few things not covered by the bulletproof warranty.

Might be cheaper now...
I would say you were lucky, the exception to the rule. Could be the tracker.
Could well be...

None of my vehicles have an active tracker and i source insurance companies that do not insist on one; 2 of our vehicles are in the pretty near top tier insurance categories and its not a noticeable difference on the premiums having no tracker.

Previous experience is that they drain the battery something rotten, and also i really do not want any car back if it has been stolen.

650spider

1,286 posts

130 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
dave

If you sold your 650, would you stay within the McLaren fold and get another model?


davek_964

Original Poster:

7,008 posts

134 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
650spider said:
dave

If you sold your 650, would you stay within the McLaren fold and get another model?

Other models don't really appeal. 720s don't temp me, and neither do any of the sports series. Much as I like 675s, I have no interest in spending twice the value of my 650 on a car - plus, one of the things I like about the 650 is how good it is as a comfortable daily-ish car and I'm not sure a 675 would tick that box. Although that is something the 360 wasn't great at, so maybe I'm trying to have my cake and eat it.

If I do decide to sell it next year, I think it will be because I'm drawing a line under supercar ownership - at least for a while. Think I have lost interest in cars a bit recently - but I'm aware that could be because of everything that's happening this year, and I don't want to make a rush decision.

djangoW

13 posts

1 month

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
650spider said:
djangoW said:
Many thanks for writing this thread and all contributors. It was greatly enjoyed. As a kind of tribute wink I recently purchased a 650s spider after many months of research all over, www, magazines, garage visits and man maths... After just a few days I am loving it and have no regrets. I hope this will continue. I note likely ongoing warranty and maintenance costs and various reported quirks so have my eyes open. I'll check back and maybe write a few thoughts
Congrats and enjoy.

Thats a fine choice you have made there...i loved every minute of my 650 spider.

Pics would be great...

djangoW

13 posts

1 month

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
Here we go, attempt to, at least

djangoW

13 posts

1 month

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
Here we go, attempt to, at least

650spider

1,286 posts

130 months

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
Absolutely stunning!

Is that the one that was at the McLaren dealer for sale?

macdeb

7,617 posts

214 months

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
I saw it at McLaren, B'ham whilst having nose around and it is indeed stunning! Lucky guy clap

Kent Border Kenny

1,601 posts

19 months

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
McLaren orange?

It looks almost yellow in the picture, which would definitely have tempted me.

650spider

1,286 posts

130 months

Tuesday 27th October
quotequote all
all these new 650 spider arrivals makes me really want to return the deposit I have received on mines...weeping