McLaren is taking a very bold step with the launch of the 625C, the first supercar it has ever built that it claims is smooth and refined enough for everyday use, but more importantly, it is the first car it has tailor-made for one particular group of clients.
The McLaren 625C will only be sold in Asia and will be available as a hardtop and as a drop-top Spider. It is based on the hugely successful 650S -- a car so much in demand that McLaren is having trouble hand-building them fast enough -- but will be a slightly more refined and forgiving car and a true sportscar in its own right.
The British company claims that despite only opening its first showroom in China in September 2013, Asia is already close to accounting for one third of its global sales.
The McLaren 625C is designed to appeal specifically to its fastest-growing market. Its 3.8-liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine has been detuned to a smoother, more predictable yet still impressive 625PS (616bhp). So not so extreme at the limits. Yet with a 0-100km/h time of 3.1 seconds, a 0-200km/h time of 8.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 329km/h in Spider and Coupe form, its figures are still more impressive than those of a Ferrari 458 Italia.
McLaren's suspension set-up is always excellent and the company claims that the changes to the system needed to create the new model will make it easier to driver around the city and in traffic but without diluting its capabilities on track.
Both cars will initially launch in Hong Kong and will roll out to other Asia Pacific markets in the months to come.