If you grew up in the early 90s, there was one car above almost all others that you dreamt of owning, the McLaren F1. It had a 460kW 6.1-litre V12 engine, a top speed of over 390km/h and it’d do 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds – everyone wanted one. But at more than a million dollars, the idea of every owning one was, for most, best kept to dreaming. Twenty-three years on though, and the English brand has a range of modern hi-performance transport, the newest and most affordable of which, is this, the McLaren 570S.
Sitting under the 650S, 675LT and the mighty P1, the 570S is McLaren’s new entry point into the brand and the first car of the marques’ new Sports Series range.
Dig the green? So do we.
What you’re looking at is a 420kW/600Nm carbonfibre and aluminium concoction that can get from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds. That’s the same as a 911 Turbo, Lamborghini Huracan and the original McLaren F1, and only 0.2 seconds off the 650S.
Powered by McLaren’s go-to twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8, but with 30 per cent new components, the 570S will hit 200km/h in 9.5 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 328km/h.
It’s got an aggressive front splitter, a fixed rear wing, staggered 19- and 20-inch wheels and massive carbon ceramic brakes.
Inside is equally as pretty. There’s optional Alcantara-covered racing seats, a seven-inch touchscreen and McLaren’s Active Dynamics Panel, offering drivers the choice of Normal, Sport and Track modes for both the suspension and the engine and gearbox.
In Portugal to drive the new 570S on road and on track. First, we hit the road…
The 570S doesn’t launch locally until early next year, but when it does, it’ll start at $379,000 – or around $80,000 less than a 650S but still slightly more expensive than a Porsche 911 Turbo.
In Normal mode, the car can’t quite match the 911 Turbo for ride comfort. Even in its tamest setting, the McLaren is comparatively firm and busy.
It’s never crashy though and beautifully transfers information directly to the driver. And, provided high levels of feedback and driver engagement are what you want in your super sports car, that’s a really good thing.
The gearbox is fast, the brakes are solid and, while on the heavier side, the hydraulic steering is wonderfully responsive and consistent – and a definite highlight of the car.
On the road, the engine delivers easy, usable torque from down low, meaning you can meander through twisty countryside without the need for high revs. Bring those revs up to between five and eight-and-a-half-grand though, and the whole package becomes an entirely different beast.
Switching from Normal to Sport, and then onto Track, the 570S quickly reminds you just what stable it comes from.
Crisp, agile, fast, responsive. The McLaren 570S is, without question, one of the most potent yet communicative track weapons you, or anyone else, can buy. And worse news for its rivals, it’s so much fun doing it.
But to better exploit the car’s true potential, we jump in for some hot laps of the Portimao circuit with a man who knows a thing or two about driving McLarens fast – McLaren’s own chief test driver, Chris Goodwin.
Hot laps done, we sit down for a quick chat with Chris in what else but the 570S’s carbonfibre tub.
Intended to be more road focused or not, the McLaren 570S is a serious piece of kit. Fast on road and blistering on track, if you’ve got a lazy odd $400k lying around, do yourself a favour, pop down to your local McLaren dealer and order one of these. Then call us, so we can drive it again. Seriously.