Maybe it’s the sensational orange metallic paint glistening under the New York auto show lights, but we can’t seem to take our eyes off of the new McLaren 570S. P1-esque styling, contrasting carbon-fiber detailing, and the promise of face-melting performance will do that. So will a sticker price well under $200,000.
That is, until we spot the McLaren F1 through the throng of people collecting around it. Twenty-five years later and it’s still a show-stopper.
So how does McLaren go from the F1 to the 570S—the former a world-beating supercar without compromise, and the latter an entry-level newcomer with day-to-day drivability as a priority?
“We listen to our customers. They’re the ones that will be driving the car,” says McLaren executive director of quality Andreas Bareis. “We’re relentless in our ambition for improvement, and they tell us what they want better.
“And every customer demands something different. Buyers from Asia treat the car like a museum piece, focused on every little detail down to the tone and quality of the paint. Germans are the ones that say they notice a faint wind noise at 150 mph on the autobahn. Americans are the ones that want to feel involved with the car, and that’s where enhanced infotainment elements like our track recorder come in.”
Feedback from 650S customers indeed informed some of the key engineering efforts that went into the new McLaren 570S. For one, the 570S is easier to get into and out of. The all-new carbon-fiber tub on which the 570S is built is thinner at the doors and shaped to allow for a wider entry way. (By the way, it’s lighter too.) The doors also now open more vertically to allow passengers an easier access point to the car’s new seats.
The McLaren 570S’ center stack also terminates just below the iPad-like infotainment system, creating more open space in the cabin than in the 650S. More importantly, the 4.4 cubic feet of front-trunk cargo space is a little bit more than offered in a Porsche 911 Turbo.
McLaren’s engineers also tell us that the 570S is designed to be capable of comfortable daily driving as well as all-out track mayhem. The car’s adjustable, electronically controlled suspension features the same three-mode driver-selectable system as in the 650S. A key difference though is that the 570S uses traditional sway-bars instead of the 650S’ more hardcore kinetic magnetorheological sway-bars, and the 570S uses its own suspension components and spring rates.
“Customers should be able to drive the car to the track, drive it for maximum performance, and then drive it back,” said Bareis. We’re told that while some McLaren owners are more collector types, the lucky drivers are by and large serious enthusiasts who drive the bejesus out of their cars.
“Our buyers get something special from McLaren that they don’t get from an R8 or a 911 Turbo,” contests Bareis. “For one, performance as a result of [light] weight. We can accelerate faster, brake later, corner harder. The other big one is exclusivity.”
Indeed, McLaren only plans to build a little more than 4,000 cars per year. Broken down, the mix is expected to include about 2,500 vehicles from the new Sport Series lineup that includes the 570S, 1,500 from the next-up Super Series that includes the 650S, and the remainder from the Ultimate Series in which the P1 lives.
Not only is that all the factory currently can produce for at least three years, but McLaren understands the value of having demand outnumber supply. It’s a good problem to have.
As for other Sport Series vehicles down the line, we’ll have to wait until next year for the latest entry. It’s all but locked in, though, that Spider and higher-performance variants are in the works.