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McLaren 570S

Click to view picture gallery“Lets face it, youd probably prefer
  a 650S. I
d probably prefer a 650S.
  You probably can
t stretch to a 650S.
  McLaren couldn
t stretch to letting
  me drive a 650S. So here
s the next
  best thing: the 570S...”


WHICH ACTUALLY MIGHT NOT BE 'SECOND BEST' at all. The 570S may have less power, less performance and less kudos, but it costs 50k less and arguably is the most usable McLaren in the whole range, without sacrificing supercar performance.


In many ways, the 570S is similar to the 650S but it's set up to be more usable. For instance, the chassis has narrower sills whose height is reduced by 80mm to offer improved entry and exit.

The main chassis is made of carbon (so it weighs just 75kg) with aluminium structures to the front and rear. The body itself is made of 'superformed' aluminium (clearly better than merely 'formed' aluminium) and overall the 570S tips the scales at a very lightweight 1,313kg, which McLaren says is over 140kg lighter than its nearest rival.

At the risk of stating
the bleedin’ obvious,
this is a fast car.
There were times when
I couldn’t believe what
the speedo was saying.
For the record, 0-62mph
takes 3.2 seconds;
124mph arrives in just 9.5
seconds; and flat out
it’ll pull 204mph...”
You are in no doubt you're in a car with a carbon-fibre chassis tub because there's oodles of carbon weave on display as you enter the car. Which is via what McLaren calls 'dihedral' doors — what you or I might call scissor doors. These swing upwards, pivoting around their front edge, so you don't have to worry about dinging cars parked next to you.

I don't understand aerodynamics; even some Formula 1 designers seem to struggle, given the hard time some race cars have at F1 circuits.

But there's lots of evidence to suggest that McLaren very much does understand aerodynamics. Things like the spindly door mirror struts, the rear flying buttresses and the ground-effect airflow that sucks the car to the ground. That means the 570S slides through the air with hardly a whisper and uses airflow to stick it to the tarmac at high speeds.

On my 40-mile test route, I didn't really get the chance to experience the full aero effects — you really need a track for that. Sadly, the legendary curves of Goodwood's circuit, tantalisingly visible from my test departure area, were off limits on the day. Boohoo!

One thing I can say is that the 570S is very usable on public roads. This is a surprisingly easy car to drive — one you could easily use on a daily basis. Keep the settings in full auto mode and the 570S will happily pootle around town and make steady, rapid progress out of town without any effort. Yes, visibility is a bit of an issue sometimes, but what supercar doesn't suffer from this?

One thing I can say
is that the 570S is very
usable on public roads.
This is a surprisingly
easy car to drive —
one you could easily use
on a daily basis.
Keep the settings in full
auto mode and the 570S
will happily pootle
around town and make
steady, rapid progress
out of town without
any effort...”
Switch to 'Sport' mode and things change: the adaptive dampers stiffen up, gearchanges become quicker, the noise becomes more purposeful, and loads more. There's a stage beyond 'Sport', called 'Track', but on the genteel Sussex B-roads of my test route, this doesn't feel the right button to press.

Traction control reins in any excesses you're tempted to indulge in, while the 570S's unique suspension settings always feel like they're going to keep you safe. You can switch the Electronic Stability Control system to 'Dynamic' mode to reduce its intervention, apparently allowing you some 'driftability' although again I got nowhere near being able to judge this. You can even switch the ESC completely off, which must be fun/terrifying!

The electro-hydraulic steering has a wonderfully natural feel, too, in contrast to some other supercars that have been criticised for the 'dead' or artificial feel of their fully-electric set-ups.

The 570S is so named because it has 570PS of power — that's 562bhp in good old British horsepower. That's a hell of a lot from an engine of just 3.8-litres, but you do have two turbos to boost the V8 engine, 30 per cent of whose components are bespoke to the 570S. McLaren claims a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 428bhp-per-tonne. And 442lb ft of torque means you're never short of urge, either.

At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, this is a fast car. There were times when I couldn't believe what the speedo was saying. For the record, 0-62mph takes 3.2 seconds; 124mph arrives in just 9.5 seconds; and flat-out it'll pull 204mph. The soundtrack is lovely, too, if not quite as dramatic as naturally-aspirated rivals like the Audi R8.

As for boot space,
this is another McLaren
strong suit. Try fitting
the sorts of bags you can
get in the 570S
in an Audi R8 and see
how far you get...”
Making the 'everyday car' argument even stronger, this is the first McLaren to boast an engine stop-start system, improving fuel consumption and CO2 output. 'Cylinder Cut' technology also helps here — although I have to say, my test car had almost run out of fuel by the time I got back to base (no doubt after several enthusiastic test drives before me).

I very much like the seven-speed 'seamless-shift gearbox' (SSG in Macca-speak). It's very easy to use as a fully auto 'box, but in manual mode it offers extremely quick changes via the steering column paddle-shifters.

The cabin is a great place to spend time, too. Perhaps it doesn't feel quite as special as a Ferrari's or a Lamborghini's but I love the 'floating' centre console, the beautifully sculpted shapes and the effective seven-inch touchscreen.

As for boot space, this is another McLaren strong suit. Try fitting the sorts of bags you can get in the 570S in an Audi R8 and see how far you get. McLaren says it has class-leading storage space up front (144 litres), while there's decent stowage space within the cabin, too.

The 570S might just be the best all-round model in McLaren's range. And priced at 143,250, it's also one of the best value supercars on the planet. The sensible supercar? You know it makes sense. ~ Chris Rees

McLaren 570S | 143,250
Maximum speed: 204mph | 0-62mph: 3.2 seconds | Test Average: 26.6mpg
Power: 562bhp | Torque: 442lb ft | CO2: 249g/km