It has emerged that the entry-level McLaren 540C likely won’t be offered for sale in the United States. Consequently, Canada will act as the only North American country to offer the 540C alongside the other Sports Series model, the McLaren 570S.
It remains unclear why McLaren is remaining resistant to sell the 540C in the U.S. but according to company spokesperson JP Canton, “We are undecided at the moment. Essentially the car will be homologation for the U.S., but it is highly unlikely we will import it [to the US].”
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.