You know there is something special about to be experienced when you step into an entry-level car costing £143,000.
With the McLaren badge on the shark-like front it is going to be different to almost anything else you’ve driven, entry level or above.
Having previously driven the McLaren 650S which was pitched as an every-day car, I was not exactly sure what I would think of the 570S newcomer to the range. It is the first of the company’s Sports Series, beneath the Super and Ultimate Series models. It’s their entry-level car.
And I was disappointed. Disappointed I do not currently have the cash to buy what is one of the true supercars of the modern age.
Retaining McLaren’s basic philosophy, and that of Lotus as well, to keep down weight, the 570S uses a lower power version of the company’s 3.8V8 engine with different and less expensive suspension as well.
But less actually means more in this case. Still possessing an enormous pulling power it felt less edgy than its bigger brother, but also covered ground almost as swiftly and certainly with a satisfying agility and responsiveness.
Smiles grew by the miles and I liked the fact it was also slightly lighter on fuel consumption thanks to the inclusion of a stop/ start system.
It is not the most elegant of cars to climb into or the easiest to get out of with its upward hinged doors, which is probably a good reason not to get out, but instead sit in the surprisingly comfortable thin seats and enjoy the driving experience.
The driver really becomes part of the McLaren 570S, sitting low and with major controls an extension of arms or legs.
For a very high performance car, the steering was surprisingly light without being vague, and it was very communicative and had a good turning circle.
The transmission selector is a button on the central panel between the seats which also contains not one but two “mode” selection rotaries.
These allow the driver to fine tune the car’s responses over nine settings for suspension, ride and handling and assorted power output settings. It’s straight out of the box of bits which have made the bigger 650S such a success among sports loving owners but specifically tuned for the lighter 570S.
I played with a variety of settings for both rotary controls and immediately felt the difference and the car’s character changed from soft to swift to very sporting.
Only in the sharpest settings does the 570S feel aggressive and the rest of the time it’s exceptionally smooth.
Cross country trips were a delight with such a responsive and powerful car, overtaking entirely safe and if you have to take a motorway it just gobbles up the boring stuff too.
Drivers will appreciate the way the car turns into a corner, grips and exits, is never thrown off line or bumps into potholes. It is a very refined suspension system, although it’s less complicated than that under the 650S.
There is a deep crisp exhaust note most of the time, but that changes as well with the various modes retuning the aural tracts.
You cannot have all that go without the ability to slow and the racing-type carbon ceramic brakes do a magnificent job with more feel than I have experienced on similar systems in other executive cars.
Powerful brakes dramatically slow or stop the McLaren 570S without any issue at all and I don’t think a normal road drive would challenge them no matter how twisting the turns became.
Most secondary controls are to hand, the automatic box paddles sensibly placed and the clear instruments directly infront of the driver.
You have marginally more oddments space inside with this model but the luggage space is only suitable for a clean thong and platinum credit card.
Then again you will not have much else left after you buy it. But you will be left to enjoy one of the true supercars.
Very fast facts
|McLaren 570S Coupe||Price: £143,250 (£184,620 as tested)|
|Mechanical: 570ps 3.8V8 petrol mid-engine, 7sp semi-auto, rear wheel drive|
|Insurance: 50E T1||0-62mph: 3.2sec|
|0-124mph: 9.5sec||Maximum: 204mph|
|Fuel: 26.6mpg (manufacturer)||Emissions: 249gkm|
|BIK: 37%||Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited mileage|
For: Performance, handling, ride, refinement
Against: Luggage space, visibility, economy