In-depth reviews

McLaren 570S review - Engines, performance and drive

The McLaren 570S mixes fabulous handling, jaw-dropping acceleration and a surprisingly compliant ride

There isn’t a McLaren on sale that’s not devastatingly quick and thrilling to drive, and it’s certainly true of the model at the top of the Sports Series. Slip behind the grippy wheel of the 570S and the excitement is palpable before you’ve even prodded the starter button.

Out on the road, the 570S delivers exactly the experience you’d expect from a car wearing McLaren badges. The suspension is less advanced than you’ll find on the Super Series models, utilising conventional roll bars, but while the ride is firm even in the adaptive dampers ‘Normal’ mode, the car moves fluidly over surface imperfections with barely any body roll. The ride is beautifully judged too, offering a level of comfort and compliance that’s remarkable given the awful state of British roads.

The steering is the icing on the 570S cake though, with perfect weighting, pin sharp responses and bucket-loads of feel through the wheel rim. It means you can place the nose of the 570S with precision – and at any half-sensible road speed, the car simply grips the tarmac and devours it. The ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ drive mode settings add firmness by degrees and sharpen up throttle response and twin-clutch gearbox settings for lightning fast shifts.

The seven-speed gearbox is operated by big racing-car style paddles behind the steering wheel. Under full acceleration or during rapid downshifts, it flicks seamlessly between ratios as fast as you can think. Relax into a cruise, however, and the gearbox will slur its cogs happily and almost imperceptibly by itself.

The brakes on the 570S are pretty special too. They require a meaty push to haul the car down from speed, but there’s terrific feel through the pedal that allows you to modulate braking very precisely. 

Track Pack equipped cars are 25kg lighter, while the bigger wing generates 29kg of downforce at 150mph. It’s otherwise very similar to drive, though, with little noticeable difference to road driving. 

Engines 

The 570S’s familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 may not have the spine-tingling yowl of an old-school, naturally aspirated V12 supercar, but it develops a fruity rasp at the top end and acceleration is accompanied by the whoosh of the turbos. It takes a split-second for the boost to build if you’re idling or coasting, but then the 570S takes off like a scalded cat.

The turbo effect means the acceleration seems to build exponentially, and with launch control engaged you can crack 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds. Top speed is 204mph for both Coupe and Spider, but the open-topped 570S takes one tenth of a second longer to reach 60mph.

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