New car review

McLaren 570S review

McLaren's affordable sports car maintains the image.

Summary

A McLaren not quite for the masses but for a wider clientele than its predecessors. And those extra customers will not be disappointed because the 570S is still every inch a proper McLaren.
Design
9.0
Performance
10
Handling
10
Economy
7.0
Value
10

Summary

A McLaren not quite for the masses but for a wider clientele than its predecessors. And those extra customers will not be disappointed because the 570S is still every inch a proper McLaren.

What is it?
The 570S is the first sports car, as opposed to supercar, from McLaren.

Our view:
As affordable as a McLaren is ever going to get

The McLaren 570S is built in Britain.


McLaren is one of the desirable automotive names that most drivers will only ever dream of getting anywhere near close to. But the £143,000 570S, launched as the first of the brand’s ‘Sports Series’ in 2015 along with its £127,000 sister the 540C, just about as affordable as a McLaren is ever going to get.

1610-mclaren-570s-14
The two are the first McLaren sports cars, as opposed to supercars, and have taken the brand into new territory, opening up to a more mainstream audience that might otherwise consider buying a Porsche 911 Turbo or the glorious Audi R8.

Yet both are still very much proper McLarens. The powertrain is based around an evolution of McLaren’s core 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – we are told that 30 per cent of the components are new compared to the previous engine.

The power unit is bolted into the same carbon-fibre MonoCell II chassis that is another McLaren hallmark, and because of its light weight, when mounted in the 570S the 570hp output of the engine turns into an eye-watering 434hp power-to-weight figure. That’s good enough for 0-62mph times of under four seconds and yes, a top speed of more than 200mph.

Crucially, it looks every inch a McLaren – visually the styling is clearly closely related to the more expensive Super Series cars, and one still enters and exits through those signature lift-up dihedral doors.

There is nothing about this car that suggests it is any less of a McLaren than its more upmarket and significantly more expensive – knocking on £200,000 – 650S sister. And as such, it is the brand’s most important car yet, the one that will bring the most new owners into McLaren.

What do we think of it?
Even day-to-day road testers such as your correspondent don’t get to try out the likes of this car very often, and so there is a sense of anticipation. Thankfully the rewards start coming the moment one sets eyes on the car and particularly raises those doors to slip inside.

Even this big fan of the Audi R8 can’t deny feeling that he has stepped up a class as the V8 comes to life and he eases out on to the road, briefly manually raising the ride height to ensure that carbon front splitter does not meet the speed humps at the venue entrance.

The first surprise is how well behaved the car is – in traffic, it will happily purr along with no hint of the potency it offers, the only outside evidence that one is in something special being the plentiful looks from those outside.

Gain some open road, however, free up the right-hand pedal, and the car comes instantly to life, the sheer pace of its acceleration electrifying. The only downside, perhaps is the noise – it doesn’t have the theatrical performance of an Audi R8, but then that sits well with the usable sports car image of the 570S.

Similarly impressive is the handling – a fast set of sweepers are dispatched with no problem at all, the 570S carving a path through them with all the delicate poise of a track-bred car.

Which of course it basically is – the 570S boasts a level of performance that similarly cannot be exploited properly on public roads – a track day subscription will be an essential for any owner, so they can really make the most of all the effort that has gone into creating this proper McLaren.

Verdict:
Dubbed an ‘affordable everyday’ McLaren, the 570S just about fulfils the first qualification for a certain level of buyer, being only around £10,000 more to buy than a top-level Audi R8 or most expensive Porsche 911 – the latter especially considered somewhat more everyday than the McLaren. And in terms of usability the 570S also deserves the everyday tag – so long as one has deep pockets for fuel it really is behaved enough to commute to work in.

In summary, this car offers everything one expects from a McLaren, without any of the compromises, particularly in terms of comfort, of more outright performance focused sisters. As such, it could with very good reason be dubbed the most favourite McLaren.

The McLaren 570S is built in Britain.

McLaren 570S – key specification

Tested model: McLaren 570S Coupe
Price: £143,250
On sale: May 2015
Engine: 3799cc V8 twin-turbo petrol, 570hp, 600Nm
0-62mph and max speed: 3.2 sec, 204mph
Economy and CO2 emissions: 26.6mpg, 249g/km
Key Rivals: Audi R8, Porsche 911
Test date: October 2016

1610-mclaren-570s-10

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

New Cars

All the most important new car launches, model updates and car reviews

News

The latest news from all the major car brands and across the automotive industry

Latest advice

Fuel prices up for second month in a row

Filling up a typical 55-litre family car was nearly £2 more expensive by the end of July compared with the beginning of the month.

New car finance rules will save you money – but not until 2021

The FCA has signed off new rules set to save customers an estimated £165 million a year – but you'll have to wait another six months.

Latest ratings

Mini Electric

The Mini Electric has been praised for the way it drives, but criticised for its poor range compared to similarly-priced electric cars.

SEAT Mii Electric

The SEAT Mii Electric is one of the more affordable options in the electric car market, but its Euro NCAP safety rating is sub-par.

Latest new cars

Mercedes-Benz reveals prices and specs for updated E-Class

Mercedes-Benz has announced full details for its facelifted E-Class, which is on sale now with first deliveries expected in the autumn.

New MG 5 estate car coming to UK

MG Motors has announced that it will be bringing its new electric MG 5 estate car to the UK, with an expected range of more than 200 miles.

Latest news

High Court rejects Volkswagen appeal over emissions scandal

Volkswagen has lost an appeal in a landmark High Court ruling on the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal. # Volkswagen #VW #Dieselgate

Britain’s best-selling cars, July 2020

It was a pleasant change to see a significant improvement in the monthly new car registration report. Here are the top ten best-sellers.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.