Portugal is among the sunniest regions in Europe and the ideal location to launch a new sportscar. Not so on the day we spent there with the new McLaren 570S though. Horrendous rain and storms made the conditions far from ideal but that didn’t withhold us from taking the 570S out on track in Portimao and on the beautiful roads along the Algarve.
McLaren is expanding their offering of sportscars towards the bottom of the range with the new McLaren 570S. The 570S is the first completely new model in the so called Sports Series. Together with the Super Series (which includes the 650S) and the Ultimate Series (think P1) it forms the McLaren Automotive line-up.
Engine & Performance
At the heart of the new McLaren 570S lies the twin turbo M838TE 3.8 liter V8 engine. The V8 delivers 570hp at 7,500 rpm and 600Nm of torque between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm.
The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in a very respectable 3.2 seconds and the 0-200 km/h sprint is doable in just 9.5 seconds. The top speed of the 2016 McLaren 570S is 328 km/h. Stopping power is provided by carbon ceramic brakes which are fitted as standard.
The McLaren 570S is the first McLaren to use the new MonoCell II carbon fibre tub. The new tub features larger openings on both sides. The low weight and extreme rigidity of the tub remains and accounts for a large part to the 1,344 kg dry weight of the McLaren 570S.
The McLaren 570S comes with a newly developed suspension setup. Unlike its 650S brother the 570S comes without the hydraulic system that links the dampers on all wheels and uses more traditional adaptive dampers instead. You are still able to chose three damper settings including normal, sport and track.
The McLaren 570S features front and rear anti roll bars and individually adaptive dampers. This doesn’t offer the same level of cornering performance as the suspension in the 650S but it comes pretty close.
The McLaren 570S is designed from the ground up. It is still unmistakably a McLaren but the unique new style and especially the smooth rear makes it very appealing. The nose has a pointy shape, not as extreme as on early renders but still visible and clearly different from other McLarens.
The doors are a work of art in itself. They are as three dimensional as they can get and open almost vertically. Opening the side of the door improves the airflow and reduces drag as the rear air inlet needs to expand less out of the bodywork to get enough air to pass through.
We love the rear of the new 570S, its smooth lines make it look wider than the 650S. Instead of an active rear wing McLaren opted for a fixed rear spoiler lip on the 570S. Aerodynamically McLaren chose a setup that sits in the middle between cornering balance and high speed stability. The full width carbon fibre rear diffuser is among the most beautiful we have seen.
McLaren offers a range of new colors for the 570S. We particularly like the Vermillion Red in combination with black wheels. You can further personalize the car with carbon fibre inside and out. And where you run out of options MSO is happy to assist with additional colors and options.
Inside the McLaren 570S a clean, open space awaits us. The cabin offers a bit more headroom than in the 650S and getting in and out of the car is easier thanks to the new carbon tub. Carbon fibre and alcantara dominate the cabin.
A new digital driver display offers various different views depending on the drive mode you are in and can be tailored to your wishes at the touch of a button. The center console hosts the small tablet sized infotainment display. Using third party hardware McLaren developed its own software layer for the displays that gives a typical McLaren feel. In general the infotainment works well although sometimes you notice that McLaren lacks the R&D budget of the big manufacturers. Per example when you change the infotainment language and the navigation system remains in a foreign language.
Noteworthy is the optional Bowers & Wilkins 12 speaker Audio System. It provides high-end sound and works well in combination with DAB digital radio, your Iphone or even a USB stick. Another option we would consider when you plan to take your 570S on track is the McLaren Track Telemetry pack with three cameras. We tested this on the 675 LT and loved this tool to improve our lap times.
Track toys aside the McLaren 570S is meant to be more practical and suitable as a daily driver and you notice this clearly inside. The 570S is the first McLaren to feature a glove box. It also features large cup holders and storage pockets in the doors. The 570S being a mid-engine sportscar has luggage space for a small suitcase and a weekend bag under the front bonnet.
For the trim McLaren developed two new trim lines dubbed Sport Design and Luxury Design. Each line contains several color combinations that make it easier to spec a desirable interior. It is still possible to customize the 570S to every possible color and combination through MSO – McLaren’s bespoke department.
We arrived in Portugal with the perfect October weather – 25 degrees, sunshine; in one word perfect! The next morning we open the curtains and can barely look out through the wet glass of our hotel room. Our program today foresaw a few hours on track and a varied route through the Portuguese countryside. Not giving up hope yet I accept the keys to a bright Mantis Green McLaren 570S and set off.
The weather forced us to take a different approach to our review as a performance test is out of the question. The sheer power of the McLaren far exceeds the grip of the tires on most of the soaked roads. On our way to the Algarve International Circuit near Portimao we found a few slightly damp stretches that allowed us to see what the 570S is capable off. Accelerating away from one of the toll stations it is clear that the 570S might technically be the entry-level McLaren but should in no way be considered an entry level sportscar. In less than 10 seconds the car rockets from standstill to 200 km/h.
It does so with very little drama and to the sound track of the V8 in combination with a brand new exhaust that provides a fuller tune. Our test car comes with the optional sport exhaust which is a must. In idle and on start-up it is clearly not as loud as the 650S but under hard acceleration it is able to give many sportscars in this segment a run for their money.
McLaren offers two different seats in various different configurations. The electronically adjustable sports seats provide the best mix of comfort and support for the 570S as a daily driver. If you plan to use the 570S primarily on track the carbon fibre racing seats are the best option. These seats are available in two sizes to accommodate a wide range of drivers.
The open design of the cockpit adds to the leg space for driver and passenger. The McLaren 570S might not offer as much space for tall drivers as a 911 Turbo but does offer significantly more space than the AMG GT.
The typical powertrain and handling modes return also in the 570S. They give the driver full control over the vehicle dynamics and performance. In normal the ride is smooth and the gearbox quickly changes up to the highest possible gear for better fuel economy and relaxed cruising. In sport is holds the gears longer and throttle response is more aggressive. Track is the ultimate mode for quick laps on the race track, although the suspension is often too hard in track mode unless you are driving on a really smooth track surface.
The 570S sports the same ESP modes as the recent McLaren 675 LT. Most notably the 570S allows for a more dynamic behavior and drifts with the dynamic electronic stability control set to dynamic. In the wet we didn’t really need this mode to get sliding but from our experience with the 675 LT we can say this is a big step up compared to the McLaren 12C. Also helping the 570S’s drift ability are the smaller rear tires, limited to only 285mm on the rear compared to 315mm width on comparable rear wheel drive cars.
On the race track with standing water the McLaren 570S it was impossible to compare the performance of the 570S with that of its competitors. But we will make sure to test the 570S again on a dry day for our final verdict.
Cruising back to the airport we checked out the various ‘daily driver’ functions equipped on the 570S. It comes with nearly everything you could want on a every day sportscar. From cruise control to climate control and from automatic windscreen wipers to automatic lights, its all there as standard. In the rain we did notice a fairly high noise level inside the cabin, a clear example where McLaren puts performance over comfort and more weight.
What to Spec?
The McLaren 570S comes with surprising many items as standard. Ceramic brakes that cost a lot extra with other manufacturers are standard at the 570S. Yet we still found a few optional extras you might want to consider:
Sport Exhaust – A must for everybody besides the deaf.
Nose Lift – Trying not to scratch the front splitter becomes a lot easier with the optional nose lift system.
Bowers & Wilkins Audio – If you prefer to listen to more than just the V8 sound track this is the best McLaren has to offer.
McLaren Track Telemetry with three cameras – Coolest gadget you can order on your 570S. Also helps to improve your lap times on any race track of your choice.
Rear view camera – The 570S has pretty good all around view but parking can still be tricky. The rear view camera tackles this issue.
Carbon Fibre Pack 2 – This includes carbon fibre side blades, side skirts and most importantly includes the stunning rear diffuser finished in carbon fibre.
What about the competition?
Starting at ‘just’ 143,250 GBP McLaren moves into new territory with the 570S and takes on the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Audi R8 and AMG GT S. Performance wise the 570S operates in the top spectrum of this segment but there are other elements to consider how it fares. The Porsche 911 Turbo (S) has long dominated this segment and is the benchmark. With its four wheel drive and spacious interior it can be used 365 days a year which gives it a certain advantage as a daily driver over the McLaren 570S but looks and interior wise the 570S is just a lot cooler.
Sound wise the Audi R8 and AMG GT S beat the McLaren 570S with their more impressive and distinct sound tracks. The Audi benefits from the naturally aspirated V10 which makes is near impossible to beat with a turbocharged V8, but on the other hand the Audi doesn’t come close to the McLaren’s performance figures. The Mercedes-AMG GT S has a lovely sound but can’t match the McLaren’s performance and interior space.
The first customer deliveries of the McLaren 570S start in Europe in November, followed by the USA and Middle East in December. The first Asian deliveries are expected beginning of next year. McLaren aims to double their current sales with the new Sport Series. Supported by a R&D investment of 120 million GBP and expansion of the dealer network to 80 dealers in more than 30 countries McLaren is pushing forward to reach that goal.
McLaren told us MSO is working on a Clubsport package including a full harnas, fire extinguisher and half roll cage. This will be available in a couple of months.
The McLaren 570S is a exciting new addition to the McLaren line-up. The 570S is the second sportscar that is attacking the Porsche 911 Turbo’s dominance recently and we are happy to see a car that combines super-sportscar rivaling performance, stunning looks and all amenities needed to make for a suitable daily driver. That it comes very well equipped as standard speaks even more for the McLaren 570S.