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McLaren 570S Kicks Off New Sport Series

On Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

McLaren makes sports cars. Right? Well, not quite: it has until now made supercars like the 650S, and what you might call hypercars like the P1. But Woking has long been previewing its upcoming assault on the sports car market with the introduction of its new, (relatively) more accessible Sports Series. And at long last, here it is.

McLaren 570S Kicks

It’s called the 570S, and it represents McLaren’s first foray into the upper end of the sports car market populated by models like the Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT. It’s based, of course, around the same basic parameters as its higher-end stablemates, and that means a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, mounted smack in the middle of a carbon monocoque chassis. 30 percent of the engine components have been redesigned, and instead of kicking out 641 horsepower like the 650S or 903 hp like the hybrid P1, the 570S (as its name suggests) offers 570 metric horsepower. That’s 562 hp by our count, backed up by 443 pound-feet of torque.

That’s quoted to be enough to send the baby Mac from a standstill to 62 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, to 124 in 9.5 and on to a top speed of 204 mph. (All of which is even more impressive when you consider, as McLaren claims, that its low fuel consumption means the 570S will be exempt from the gas-guzzler tax.) There’ll be a less potent, more accessible version positioned alongside it, but the point is clear: a McLaren can be no slouch, and the new Sports Series is no exception.

The performance is enabled by its light weight: the redesigned MonoCell II chassis weighs just 80 kilograms (176 pounds), contributing to a 2,895-pound dry weight that McLaren says is over 350 pounds lighter than its nearest competitor, contributing to a power-to-weight ratio of 434 metric horsepower per ton. The tub has been redesigned to allow for easier ingress and egress, making the prospect of using it as a daily driver that much more realistic. It even has the upwards-swinging dihedral doors that are a signature of every road-going McLaren, and which you’d usually only find on a vehicle a couple of categories up the market.

The overall size is roughly comparable to that of a 911 or R8 – barely any longer, a little wider and a little stouter in height. It’s actually a little longer than the 650S (but shorter than the 675LT) and comes cloaked in aluminum body panels that bare more than a passing resemblance to the shapes of its big brothers. That said, the 570S has design elements all its own – from the latest take on Woking’s familiar nose design, past the aerodynamic flying buttresses and concave rear window to the fixed rear wing.

The 570S rides on Pirelli PZero Corsa rubber on staggered alloys measuring 19 inches up front and 20 at the rear, and even comes standard with carbon-ceramic brakes. The suspension has been thoroughly reworked, ditching its big brother’s horizontal front damper in favor of fixed anti-roll bars front and rear and adaptive dampers all around. Inside, the two-seat cockpit packs a digital instrument cluster, seven-inch touchscreen display, audio systems with four, eight or twelve speakers and extensive customization options.

We’ll see the 570S up close this week at the New York Auto Show. There’ll be more variants available in the future as well, in various states of tune and with different body styles. But for now, this already gives us – and its German rivals – plenty to chew on.

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