McLaren 570S Coupe

2016 - Review

McLaren 570S Coupe, full front action
McLaren 570S Coupe, front action 1
McLaren 570S Coupe, front action 2
McLaren 570S Coupe, side action
McLaren 570S Coupe, rear action
McLaren 570S Coupe, front wheel
McLaren 570S Coupe, dashboard
McLaren 570S Coupe, doors open
McLaren 570S Coupe, with lorry driver

LAND a job at McLaren Automotive, builder of some of the world's fastest road cars, and you'll need to take a driving test before you're allowed at the wheel.

It's designed to ensure you're not a danger to yourself and others in cars capable of hitting the legal limit faster than you can say 'be careful, I could lose my licence'.

And it has a unique feature that doesn't apply if you should be driving, say, a Nissan Micra. Simply put, McLaren teaches you how to deal with the attention you are certain to attract from fellow road users.

Spotting the low, sensual lines of a car that can top 200mph ('where legal and safe', as they say), lots of other drivers will haul alongside and try to capture the moment on their phone cameras.

McLaren tells its people to let the adulation flow for a few seconds - it's called being a brand ambassador - but then get out of the situation if the cameraman shows no signs of clearing off.

Very sensible too; especially if the camera is wielded by a driver who ought to be concentrating on the road ahead, not trying to capture your wheels for posterity.

Choose your McLaren in mantis green and you won't need to be moving to feel the love of those around you. 'What is it?", shouted the jovial lorry driver as he emerged from a side turning as the McLaren 570S Coupe relaxed at the side of a country road.

He was wrong at first guess - reckoning the colour made it a Lamborghini. Didn't stop him, though, from parking up and having his picture taken - hi-viz jacket and all - with the car he will assuredly buy when his Lottery ticket comes up.

Then there was the Mondeo driver heading towards us; a headlight flash and thumbs up signifying another drive made memorable for someone otherwise out on everyday business.

The McLaren is that sort of car. Perhaps it's the smallish size and lack of in-yer-face radiator grille that makes the car an object of happy desire, not something you'd rather like to clip an expensive alloy on the next high kerb.

And it is also a very special machine, almost a modern miracle considering McLaren Automotive sold its first car only five years ago and is now fully qualified to be spoken about in the same breath as Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Last year was a record for the company, producing 1,654 cars from its clinically clean production plant in Woking.

That figure will never rise above 5,000 annually says the company, keeping things exclusive and profitable (in the black for the last three years, they proudly say).

To most observers with no particular interest in cars I expect all roadgoing McLaren looks much the same; all obviously expensive and very, very fast.

And that's true, it's just that the cost and speed of the models varies enough to make sure there's a pecking order to satisfy lots of well off potential owners with pockets of varying depths.

You can pay more than £285,000 for your new McLaren - without adding a single tempting option. That must make the mere £148,150 of the 570S an absolute steal. It certainly looks worth lots more, but actually sits only one up from the least expensive McLaren, the £126,000 540C.

Built around a tub of light but race-car strong carbonfibre, the aluminium clothed 570C Coupe is a very serious means of going quickly with a permanent grin on the driver's face, and most other road users too.

Top speed is a crazy 204mph, 0 to 60 takes 3.2 seconds thanks to its 562bhp 3.9-litre V8 biturbo engine that's actually relatively kind on the pocket. Official fuel return is 26.6mpg.

It feels deliciously connected to the through steering that talks to you like a helpful friend and rides poor roads with more aplomb than many a humble hatch.

Then you put your foot down, the turbos kick in hard, the exhaust emits a half bellow and you enter a realm where few have privileged access. Lucky those who do.


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