Currently reading: McLaren rules out Porsche Cayman rival
McLaren’s chief designer Robert Melville says the British sports car brand won't chase volume sales by making a car to sit below the new 540C and 570S
2 mins read
27 November 2015

McLaren has ruled out making a more affordable model to rival the likes of the Porsche Cayman by saying it has no intention of going below its 911-rivalling 540C and 570S.

Although McLaren is looking to attract a larger audience with its new entry-level models, it wants to retain an element of high-end appeal.

“[A Cayman rival] is a step too far. That is not exclusive enough for us,” said McLaren’s chief designer, Robert Melville. “You look at Ferrari. They are coming from very high end. This [the 570S] is stretching us down to R8s and 911s and is as low as we’d want to come.”

Melville said the 570S was designed to cater to customers who wanted a sports car that could be used every day.

The 570S opens up McLaren to a different type of customer, according to insiders. Previous cars, such as the P1 and the 650S, were bought by wealthy owners with multiple cars to perform different functions. The usability of the 570S means that, McLaren reckons, it could be bought by more cautious owners looking to use it more often and potentially as an only car.

Insiders expect more buyers will use finance to pay for their new car, widening the ownership pool. The more considered and rational approach of this type of buyer, and the quality of rivals such as the 911 and Audi R8, were key in the development of the 570S. McLaren knew the quality of the interior and the car had to match its rivals at the very least.

A convertible version of the 570S and a third model, which will come with grand tourer-style bodywork, are both planned. Whereas the Spider is set to retain much of the fixed-head model’s looks, the 570S GT version will be recognisably different.

“With the third derivative, we can’t afford to refresh the whole car. It is a derivative,” said Melville. “Elements are identical and elements are very different.

“The big challenge on this car was making the doors work on different bodystyles.”

The GT model is set to be revealed in the early part of next year, while the 570S Spider is expected to be launched in 2017. A Spider variant of the 675 LT will also come to market towards the end of 2016.

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Norma Smellons 27 November 2015

More to the point...

When are they going to man up and publish the P1's Nurburgring time? They were camped out there for months on end only to be beaten by Porsche. No shame in that, obviously, and it does not detract from the car one jot. If only McLaren would share that view.