By Rosie Ogden
THE McLaren 570S Coupé is the first – and highest powered – model launched in the recently announced Sports Series.
Following its global debut at the New York International Auto Show in April, the new model range marks the entry of McLaren into the luxury sports car market, introducing race-derived technologies and supercar performance in a package which is very much a pure McLaren.
The latest addition to the range completes the three tier model strategy for McLaren, alongside the Super Series and Ultimate Series. The Sports Series, though, is the most usable and attainable model to wear a McLaren badge to date.
Weighing as little as 1,313kg (2,895lbs), thanks in part to the unique lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the Sports Series is almost 150kg lighter than its closest rival. Power is provided by an evolution of the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine with 30 per cent new components. “This ensures electrifying performance,” says McLaren, with the 570S boasting a class-leading power-to-weight figure of 434PS.
At the same time, the interior is more tailored around day-to-day usability, with “optimised access, greater levels of stowage space and more refinement”.
“The Sports Series is aimed at a new audience for McLaren” explains Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive. “It is the first time we’ve competed in the sports car as opposed to the supercar market. As with all McLaren models, we have prioritised performance, driving engagement and exhilaration. It is a totally driver-focused car, with excellent ergonomics and visibility, and a class-leading driving position. This is also the most day-to-day usable, practical and attainable McLaren we’ve ever made. It is a dramatic and beautiful sports car.”
The Sports Series launches in coupé body style with two models – the first, and most powerful, is the 570S Coupé, which will be joined by the more accessible 540C Coupé by mid-2016.
Aerodynamics are optimised by an air-piercing front bumper that separates airflow into four directions, with each path being worked over, under and through the sculpted bodywork, while elegant flying buttresses provide increased levels of downforce and enhanced cooling.
Every McLaren road car since the iconic McLaren F1 from the 1990s has included distinctive dihedral doors, and the Sports Series continues the design tradition. The advanced and intricate door design is inspired by those on the McLaren P1™, and features a ‘floating’ tendon which works to channel air into the ultra-efficient air intake. This supplements the side intakes that directly feed the HTRs (high temperature radiators) which allows for smaller side intakes, thereby reducing drag.
LED lighting is used across the range at both front and rear. The lights are automatically activated and include ‘Follow Me Home’ and ‘Overseas Tourist’ functions. The latter allows easy adjustment between left- and right-hand drive markets.
The carbon fibre MonoCell II is 25 per cent stiffer than a comparable aluminium chassis, and this structural stiffness improves handling, agility and ride comfort. It is also stronger and safer in a crash, and needs no extra bracing or reinforcement (such as side intrusion beams).
The 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 produces 570PS (562bhp) and 600Nm of torque (443 lb ft).
A stop-start system is fitted for the first time on a McLaren and offers greater efficiency during city driving, improving fuel consumption and CO2 output.
The 570S Coupé completes the 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in 3.2 seconds, while 200 km/h is reached in just 9.5 seconds. Top speed is 328 km/h (204 mph).
Power is delivered through a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG) offering ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ modes and the settings have been recalibrated to produce faster shifts. For the first time, the gearbox clutch control has been separated from the engine control, to enhance refinement. This helps produce quicker gear changes.
The car returns 26.6 mpg (10.7 litres/100km) on the EU combined cycle, while emissions are 249g/km.
Carbon ceramic brake discs are fitted as standard, with six-piston callipers on the front and four-piston callipers at the rear, while a newly developed ABS software has been designed to optimise brake feel, and also reduces pulsing through the pedal.
A new ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system, developed with Bosch, includes a ‘Dynamic’ mode which provides reduced intervention to allow greater vehicle control on the limit, and ‘driftability’.
Also new to the Sports Series is a new Performance Traction Control, which incorporates bespoke McLaren software to deliver more precise control in extreme situations. In Dynamic mode, the traction control allows a gradual transition at the point of slip (YAW angle) and therefore “more confidence to explore the Sports Series at the limits of its handling”.
A number of Formula 1™-derived technologies include the Brake Steer system which was initially developed by McLaren during the 1997 season, and subsequently banned due to the significant performance advantage it offered; the system aids cornering by bringing the vehicle’s nose into the apex by applying braking force to the inside rear wheel. This enables the driver to brake later and get on the power earlier.
A newly-developed suspension system uses independent adaptive dampers with front and rear anti-rollbars.
Inside, a feeling of luxury and airiness is heightened by the use of a ‘floating’ centre console, and the facia and door trim also incorporate floating elements.
Rotary switches, buttons and steering wheel mounted stalks are all tactile to touch, and there’s a seven-inch intuitive touchscreen as well as the most advanced infotainment system to feature in a McLaren model to date. The touchscreen also controls the standard DAB digital radio, as well as satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player. The IRIS system also includes the electronic owner’s manual.
New seats offer increased levels of support and comfort: they are six-way adjustable for the driver, including electric height adjustment, four-way for the passenger, and are fully upholstered in leather.
Price in the UK for the 570S is £143,250, while the 540C will have a starting price of £126,000.
AT A GLANCE:
0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) 3.1 seconds
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.2 seconds
0-161 km/h (0-100 mph) 6.3 seconds
0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) 9.5 seconds
0-400m / ¼ mile 10.9 seconds @ 220 km/h (137 mph)
Top speed 328 km/h (204 mph)
Power-to-weight 434PS per tonne
100-0 km/h (62-0 mph) 33 m (108 ft)
200-0 km/h (0-124 mph) 126 m (413 ft)
ENGINE & POWERTRAIN
Engine configuration V8 Twin Turbo / 3,799cc
Power 570PS (562 bhp) @ 7,400 rpm
Torque 600Nm (443 lb ft) @ 5,000-6,500 rpm
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
Combined – 26.6 mpg (EU), 10.7 l/100km
Urban – 17.2 mpg (EU), 16.5 l/100km
Extra urban – 38.4 mpg (EU), 7.4 l/100km