A closer look at McLaren's 570S sports car
McLaren’s 570S heralded the start of a new model line for the British manufacturer, one that begins at a far more reasonable price point than the one offered up by its lightning-quick 650S. Gizmag got an up-close look at the new 570S, before sitting down with McLaren’s Asia-Pacific Director David McIntyre for a chat about the brand’s move "downmarket."
The 570S is powered bya detuned version of the 3.8-liter, turbocharged V8 engine that also powers the650S and the new 675LT. With an output of 562 hp (419 kW), the engine comfortably usurps those of its nearest rivals: the Porsche 911 Turbo’s six-cylinderengine only manages 520 hp (387 kW), while the new Audi R8 V10 only creates 531hp (396 kW).
The 570S is fundamentally similar to its more expensive stablemates in a numberof ways. At the center of its chassis is McLaren’s carbon fiberMonoCell, which creates an incredibly strong and safe backbone. The carbon tubthat underpins the 570S is slightly different to the one that features inMcLaren’s Super Series, with lower side sills as a concession to everydayusability.
Although we’re yet to shoehorn ourselves into a 650S to test the theory, the570S’ cabin is certainly easier to get into than a P1’s.
Because the MonoCellis so strong and light, McLaren is able to set the car up to be compliant andusable everyday without sacrificing performance. David McIntyre says the 570Sis designed to be lively and exciting, but also comfortable and reasonablypractical.
"The suspension hasbeen tuned so the car feels more lively – it should be that this car is aboutenjoyment," McIntyre said. "Ultimately a 650 [S]is going to be faster, but this is going to give you more feeling, moreexcitement."
This more engagingfeel will, according to McIntyre, come from a whole range of different areas.
"It’s really thesuspension, steering, sound, feeling of being in the cabin – everything togetherreally," he told us. "This is designed to be an involving car. Whereas the 650S is about ultimateperformance, getting tenths of a second on a track, this is about enjoying it."
Driving experienceaside, McLaren is likely to sell plenty of 570S’ purely based on its looks.There’s no mistaking it for anything other than a McLaren – the aggressivefront splitter and headlamps carry the same shape as those of the 650S, while the broadrear end’s diffuser and taillights have clearly been inspired by its big-brotherP1.
The side of the car iswhere McLaren’s stylists have done their best work. The piece of bodywork thatruns from behind the front wheelarch is called a "tendon," and is gives the car’sstyling an extra degree of depth and detail that is unmatched by any of itsrivals.
Once you’re inside,the cabin has a rather special feel. The quality of all the materials isabsolutely top notch, and the all of things the driver touches feel beautifullycrafted. The leather on the seats and dashboard is soft and neatly stitched,and the cabin is logically laid out.
Nowhere is McLaren’sattention to detail more apparent than when you look at the beautifullysculpted column stalks, which would look at home in an art gallery.
From behind the wheel, the driver looks at a simple steering wheel with paddles that fall easily to hand. A new LCD readout, which adapts based on the drive mode selected, provides a wealth of information to the driver.
It’s this level ofdetail that McLaren hopes will draw buyers away from the staid Germans.
McIntyre says the 570S is aimed at "people who have Porsche Turbos and things like that, but it’s also people who'vegot a Carrera GTS, but they didn’t buy the Turbo because it’s still a 911. It’s people who’ve got an Audi R8 4.2 [V8], but didn’t buy the V10 or the V10Plus because it’s still an R8.”
For most people, the thought of an Audi R8 not being special enough is an odd concept. But in the world of supercars, the McLaren's extra level of styling flair and favorable badge has to make a difference.
Couple that with the fact that the 570S shares its technology with significantly more expensive cars, and McLaren might well be onto a winner.