The McLaren 570S is the latest car to join the British brand’s lineup and it also happens to be the most affordable, putting it in direction competition with the likes of the new Audi R8 and Porsche’s 911 Turbo S. The competition’s definitely had their respective time in the sun but it’s time for the McLaren 570S to get some much-deserved shine. We were recently tossed the keys to a Ventura Orange 570S which turned our daily lives into a constant car show. Its looks command the attention but its performance commands the respect. You’re looking at a car that’s on the cusp of being labeled a supercar. McLaren’s longstanding motorsports history shows in all their cars and though you’d think that creating a sub-$200K sports car that rivals the likes of Porsche and Audi would require the brand to drastically dumb down their offering in order to make it happen, think again.
Ever since we drove the MP4-12C a few years back, we knew McLaren was making some of the most impressive performance-centric vehicles on the planet. The P1 has commanded the throne since its unveiling and release, similar to the success of the McLaren F1 in the 90’s. And this is the first in the McLaren Sports Series, a sports car segment that blends all the technology and performance enhancements from McLaren’s top-tier vehicles with a slightly more comfortable drive that works well for everyday use. With the 570S (and the 570GT), we still get a mid-engine placement of the 3.8-litre V8 engine and a carbon fibre tub, this one being a revised version that features slimmer sills to make getting in and out of the car a bit easier than its supercar brethren. The usability factor’s gone up quite a bit here as expected but the 570S is no slouch when it comes to performance. The brand’s iconic V8 churns out 562 horses and 443 pound-feet of torque. Couple that with weight reduction and a smooth seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and you get the 570S to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds while needing only 9.5 seconds to hit 124 mph. Porsche’s 911 Turbo S is prime competition and though the performance figures are just tenths of seconds off each other, there’s a lot more that McLaren brings to the table than registered 0 to 62 times.
As iconic as Porsches can be, McLaren’s just making more impressive designs, inside and out. Each curve is shaved to perfection and nothing’s overdone. There’s only one button to change the audio and one way to change the climate settings. The minimalist approach breeds a cabin design that’s focused on function but still just perfectly designed and placed. Outside, we get a front end that pulls inspiration from McLaren’s P1 hypercar, with the 570S getting a bit pointier where the P1 is more curved. There’s the large LED headlamps and massive air ducts on the corners as well, allowing cool air to flow over the wheel arches. And we can’t ignore McLaren’s signature doors that go up instead of out, a deal closer in our book. Wrap around to the back and this is where the 570S really comes into its own. The aero work is tremendous, letting plenty of heat released from the exposed engine bay. The LED light blade rear lamps give the back a very distinct look while the fixed rear spoiler allows for more downforce. The spoiler’s one key difference between the 570S and the 650S, as the higher-end model comes with an air brake spoiler that lifts on braking.
Needless to say that if you’re looking to stay under the radar, chances are this car isn’t for you and that’s okay. McLarens aren’t for everyone but regardless of your age, you’ll stop and stare, maybe even snap a photo. During our time with the car, things definitely got interesting. The highlight might’ve been when a young girl saw it parked with the doors up, turned to her parents and asked, “Daddy, does it fly?” Yes, technically it does.
Labeling any piece of motoring genius a “supercar” is nothing to take likely and so the McLaren 570S comes pretty darn close to getting it, but just close enough to not be called it outright. Instead, it’s comfortably a top-tier sports car that rivals even some of the supercars on the market, including some from its own stable. And the folks at Woking wouldn’t want it to be any other way.