One Country, Two McLarens

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

The seemingly perpetual introduction of marginally altered special editions is a business model that makers of low volume exotic cars have seized upon. Development cycles are long, product lifespans even longer and the attention spans of fickle ultra-high net worth consumers is short. By releasing new “Special Editions” every quarter or model year, luxury car makes can give owners a reason to keep trading in their current car for the latest and greatest thing, even if the new model is only superficially different from the base car.

Most of the time, these products offer a distinct paint job, added features, or a bump in power. For the first time, there’s a special edition designed to be less hardcore.

McLaren has created the 625C, a detuned version of the 650S with lower power, softer suspension tuning and apparently, minimal cosmetic differences between the two cars, so bystanders don’t know that you’ve gone for the less macho Macca. McLaren claims that the 625C was spurred on by customer demand. But when you’re stuck in congested Hong Kong traffic, it’s hard to imagine that reduced spring rates and 25 fewer ponies will make an appreciable difference.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

More by Derek Kreindler

Join the conversation
8 of 11 comments
  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Sep 26, 2014

    How many versions of the Murcielago were there, anyway? Feels like there was at least seven, maybe even ten.

  • Juicy sushi Juicy sushi on Sep 27, 2014

    Given they can't justify making a personal luxury coupe for the Chinese market, this seems to be as much as they're willing to compromise.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Sep 27, 2014

    Hong Kong's a special edition of one country. Which one depends on point of view. Photo reminds me of John Adams "Nixon in China.' Substitute woman in red center, for Pat Nixon and two Mclarns for rhyming couplets. Official word from Beijing is that the British are a thinking people. Competitive intelligence services.

  • Sproc Sproc on Sep 27, 2014

    I still believe the 650S Spider is the most beautiful new car I have seen in person in many, many years. It's at the top of my "hit the Powerball" list, and anything that keeps McLaren in business and building cars is just fine by me.