McLaren has announced the new 570S Coupe will be priced from £143,250 when it goes on sale later this year. The British brand also confirmed a lesser-powered 540C model will debut at the Shanghai Motor Show next month and cost from £126,000 and a 570S GT fastback version is also in the pipeline.
The new Sport Series range, initially made up of the 570S, 570S GT and 540C, joins the existing Super and Ultimate McLaren product ranges.
With the Sport Series kicking off at £126,000, McLaren has positioned itself in fiercely competitive territory with the newcomer hoping to steal sales from the £120,598 Porsche 911 Turbo and the £119,500 Audi R8.
The more powerful 570S will see closer competition in the £142,120 Turbo S and £137,500 for the R8 V10 Plus. Both versions of the McLaren Sport Series use a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which sees 30 per cent of its internal changed over the more powerful 650S with which its shares the engine.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Sport Series at the New York Motor Show, Executive Director of Product Development, Mark Vinnels said the 570S opens up a completely new customer base. "The 650S is based around purity, lap times and pushing a car as far as it van can go," he told Auto Express.
"What we're doing with the 570S, is that while I¹m confident it'll do the lap times relative to the competition, its also about fun and engagement and exploitability, with a level of usability and practicality."
When production of the Sport Series begins, McLaren is expecting to see production and sales rise from the 1,700 units sold globally last year, to around 4,000 units. Further details on the 540C will be announced at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Designed to sit beneath the 650S in the line-up and take on top-end 911s, the 570S is just the beginning of the Sports Series family. A less powerful and more affordable ‘C’ model will follow the ‘S’, with a Spider due after that. Prices will start from around £145,000 for the 570S.
Although it’s the baby of McLaren’s range, there’s nothing junior about the way the 570S performs. It uses the same mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration as the 650S and P1, but features a version of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, with 30 per cent new components. The result is 562bhp and 600Nm of torque – 79bhp less than the 650S, yet 10bhp more than the 911 Turbo S. Power is channelled through a seven-speed twin-clutch SSG box.
Despite producing 150Nm less torque than the Turbo S and using rear rather than four-wheel drive, it’s only one-tenth slower from 0-62mph, taking 3.2 seconds. The 570S wins back points when it comes to its 204mph top speed, though – 6mph faster than the Porsche’s and only 3mph down on the 650S’.
This outrageous straight-line performance is courtesy of its lightweight construction. It uses a modified version of the 650S’ carbon-fibre MonoCell chassis, weighing just 80kg, with thinner sills to make getting in and out that little bit easier. It means a dry weight (without fuel or other fluids on board) of just 1,313kg – a massive 292kg lighter than the 911 Turbo S and a useful 17kg less than the 650S. Economy of 25.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 258g/km represent improvements of 1.4mpg and 17g/km over its bigger brother.
The curious part, though, is that when you compare McLaren’s own data for the 570S and 650S, it’s the supposed baby that actually measures 18mm longer and 103mm wider, although the 650S’ roof is 3mm closer to the ground. It features six litres more luggage space in the nose, too, at 150 litres. McLaren says the 570S is more focused on “day-to-day usability and driveability” and “increased interior comfort”, which explains the more generous dimensions.
Unique adaptive dampers are fitted as standard, along with front and rear anti-roll bars, a double wishbone suspension design at each end and carbon-ceramic brake discs. The latter, however, are likely to be options only on the lesser C model.
Like the 650S, there are three settings for the drivetrain – Normal, Sport and Track – progressively increasing the ride firmness, gearbox speed, throttle response and slackening off the ESP threshold.
From the front, the link between the P1, 650S and 570S is strong, but look closer, and the 570S is littered with unique elements. The blades in the front bumper, for example, channel air out through the wheelarches and under the car, while a blacked-out ‘tendon’ along the sides houses the door button, reduces drag and cools the engine. The scissor or ‘dihedral’ doors are a feature carried over from the 650S, and add some essential supercar pizzazz.
Subtle flying buttresses in the C-pillar add yet more flair to the design and boost downforce, while a P1-style tail-light signature, huge diffuser and discreet twin tailpipes provide the drama at the rear. The concave rear windscreen will become a Sports Series signature, claims McLaren. If you want something more ‘in your face’, an optional styling pack adds deeper bodywork and a fixed rear wing.
Inside, the focus is on making this the most comfortable McLaren to date. Leather-wrapped sports seats are standard (racing seats are optional), while the potrait-orientated seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system is housed in a floating dash design.
There’s plenty of technology, too, with Bluetooth, DAB radio, sat-nav and climate control all fully integrated into the screen. A choice of a standard four-speaker, upgraded eight-speaker or a 12-speaker flagship Bowers & Wilkins 1,280W stereo is available. And if the £145,000 price tag isn’t enough, McLaren will let you run wild adding various Alcantara, Nappa leather and carbon-fibre packs to the interior.
The importance of the 570S, and subsequent Sports Series models, to McLaren’s fortunes can’t be underestimated. It turned a profit last year, selling a total of around 1,850 cars (1,600 Super Series and around 250 P1s). These figures are 21 per cent up on 2013’s, and its projections are to sell around the same number in 2015, with a handful of Sports Series thrown in towards the back end of the year.
However, once the Sports Series range is up to full production in 2016, bosses hope to sell 1,500 Super Series per year and 2,500 Sports Series for a sustainable annual total of 4,000 units.
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0-62mph: 3.5 secs (est)
Top speed: 195mph (est)
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0-62mph: 3.2 secs (est)
Top speed: 204mph (est)
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