The first car in McLaren's Sports Series, the 570S Coupé, has been revealed at the New York motor show. The car will go head to head with the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Audi R8 V10 Plus, and is billed as McLaren's most usable car yet.
The Woking-based company says the 570S Coupé “introduces McLaren DNA to the sports car segment for the first time”, bringing the lessons learned during the development of the 650S supercar and P1 hypercar to a lower price - which officials have confirmed is £143,25
The 570S Coupé also marks the official birth of the McLaren Sports Series, which will be developed as the entry-level tier in a new three-rung model strategy that also incorporates the Super Series and Ultimate Series.
The debut of the Sport Series models will bring another jump in McLaren output. The company expects to hit a production peak of about 4000 cars per year when the 570S Coupé and subsequent cars in the range are established.
Despite its entry-level billing, the 570S Coupé - which went under the code name P13 during its test and development programme — nevertheless packs heady performance that puts it firmly into the territory occupied by the high-end Porsche and Audi sports cars.
The new car retains the mid-engined format of its more powerful big brother, the 650S. Power comes from a tweaked version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 already used in the 650S and P1 and is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The engine produces maximum power of 562bhp (which equates to 570PS and informs the car’s name) and 443lb ft of torque. It has been given the designation M838T E, with the ‘E’ standing for ‘evolution’.
The 570S Coupé can cover 0-62mph in 3.2sec and 0-124mph in 9.5sec, going on to a top speed of 204mph. The new McLaren can reach 100mph in 6.3 seconds.
By comparison, the £137,500 R8 V10 Plus has maximum power of 601bhp and peak torque of 413lb ft from its naturally aspirated 5.2-litre engine. Official figures indicate that the all-wheel-drive Audi can match the McLaren from 0-62mph but is 0.4sec slower to 124mph and has a claimed 205mph top speed.
Prices for the 911 Turbo S start at £142,120. With 552bhp and 516lb ft on tap from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six, the all-wheel-drive Porsche pips its rivals from 0-62mph, taking 3.1sec. It hits 124mph in 10.3sec and its top speed is 194mph.
One of the key features of the new McLaren is its comparatively low weight. With the 570S Coupé tipping the scales at a claimed 1313kg - about 150kg lighter than the R8 V10 Plus - it has a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 428bhp per tonne.
Crucial to the low weight is a new design of McLaren’s carbonfibre MonoCell II chassis, tweaked from the version used in the 650S. The 570S’s structure weighs less than 80kg and, in line with the new car’s focus on usability, it has modified sills to make it easier to get in and out of the cabin.
The sophisticated interlinked suspension that is a feature of the 650S has been replaced on the 570S with a more standard double wishbone design paired with adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars. As with the 650S, though, the powertrain and handling settings can still be switched between progressively more focused Normal, Sport and Track modes.