The McLaren 540C has been officially unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show 2015. The McLaren 540C is the entry-level version of the new McLaren Sport Series. It will be the cheapest McLaren model available in McLaren’s range with an entry price of £126,000. Pre-orders are already being taken with deliveries scheduled to start in early 2016.
Underneath, the McLaren 540C is virtually the same as the 570S Coupe. It gets the same carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis and the same mid-mounted 3.8 litre V8. As the name suggests, the engine has been down tuned further to generate 540 PS at 7,500 rpm and 540 Nm of torque between 3,500 and 6,500 rpm. Performance figures from 0-100 km/h are 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 320km/h (199mph).
Dry weight is 1,311 kg (2,890lbs) thanks to aluminium body panels. Economy is another proud feather in the McLaren 540C cap with a claimed 25.5 mpg on the EU combined cycle and emissions of just 258 g/km. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox.
To differentiate the 540C from the 570S Coupe, McLaren fit unique aero blades below the front bumper and a unique diffuser which sits between the twin exhausts. The Sports Series Coupé also gets dihedral doors which include the floating door tendon. Finally, the 540C Coupe is fitted with distinctive new cast alloy wheels, available with silver or stealth finish, measuring 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear.
McLaren offer a fair bit of technology too. The McLaren 540C also gets a Formula 1 derived Brake Steer system, designed to aid cornering through the application of braking force to the inside rear wheel. The 540C also features McLaren’s newly-developed suspension system which uses front and rear anti-rollbars, dual wishbones and independent adaptive dampers. Damper tuning is more suited for day-to-day road driving in the 540C although familiar McLaren ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ handling settings are available.
Inside, it is business as usual for McLaren. The interior of the Sports Series gets leather upholstery to the seats, dashboard and lower doors as standard. The ‘floating’ centre console features a seven-inch IRIS touchscreen with incorporated air conditioning controls. DAB digital radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player all come as standard.