Driving The McLaren 570s Coupé
Just because something looks cool, it doesn’t mean it can’t perform. McLaren’s road cars are a perfect case in point.
Thanks to a recently implemented product strategy for its road cars, McLaren has begun making them more accessible for normal street driving. And the 570s is one of these: a McLaren for non-professional lovers of great cars.
McLaren 570s: a short history
McLaren Automotive, part of the McLaren Group, came into being in 2010, replacing the dormant McLaren Cars with the goal to build luxury sports cars with some element of everyday practicability. Long story short: McLaren Automotive is the road-legal arm of McLaren and its only been in operation for eight years.
McLaren Automotive launched the 570s in 2015 at the New York Auto Show. Its declared focus was day-to-day usability and drivability with elements that casual drivers appreciate such as increased luggage space (though I still find this area quite small) and leather upholstery.
The lean, curvaceous 570s is the brand’s first real “street sports car.” It is also the base of McLaren’s Sports Series lineup, the company’s entry-level tier.
McLaren 570s: design
The designs of these anything-but-subtle cars are irresistible to anyone with even a passing interest in cars: serious supercar with unbelievably distinct lines.
Let’s start with the way into the car: the doors remind you either of a bat’s wing or the Back to the Future DeLorean depending on your age. These doors, actually called “dihedral,” are a signature element of McLaren’s automobiles. While in a mechanical sense you don’t do anything differently to open them, the upward motion caused by pushing the button makes you feel as cool as cool can be.
The coolness continues with the sounds that the McLaren 570s makes: this automobile not only looks like a Formula 1 car, it most definitely sounds like one. The low rumble that the exhaust emits when you push the high-tech button revs up once you put your foot on the gas, unleashing the horses that you must work to throttle to remain out of jail.
The carbon fiber body has a strong – and very obvious – focus on aerodynamics, while the interior is sumptuous and sporty, immediately enveloping the driver in a smoothly formed cocoon of pure testosterone.
The in-car controls are center-mounted, mainly activated via touchscreen. These were not as intuitive as I might have hoped, and the lack of head-up display was baffling to me. As a sports-car driver myself, I know that not having to look elsewhere to see how fast I’m traveling is the safest, most convenient element my cockpit could have. The rear view camera and parking sensors were extremely helpful and much appreciated when backing into tight spots.
How the McLaren 570s handles
One of the elements I love most about high-performance automobiles is the rumble of a real sports car’s engine – and the McLaren 570s did not disappoint here.
In case you don’t love this sound as much as I do, you’d be out of luck as there is no “quiet mode,” though there are normal, sport, and track modes, all of which are controlled by the center console. The car is fully automatic, but you can activate manual paddles if you prefer doing the shifting yourself.
Unfortunately, as I drove this car in Switzerland – where the top speed is capped at 120 kph – I was not able to open it up the same way I would have on a German highway, so driving as if I were speed testing was not going to happen. You’ll be happy to know, however, that I did not pop the cruise control on (which I generally do in Switzerland to avoid the speeding tickets that come quickly and expensively), taking my chances.
However, I can attest to some amazing acceleration and wonderful performance all around making for a driving experience like none other. In fact, I can’t wait for my next test drive.
For more information, please visit www.cars.mclaren.com/sports-series/570s-coupe/performance.
Quick Facts McLaren 570s Coupé
Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8
Power: 570 PS
Torque: 443 lb-ft of torque
Acceleration: 0-100 kph in 3.2 seconds
Top speed: 328 kph
Base price: from $184,900
Disclosure: the author was a guest of McLaren on this adventure.
Also published on Medium.