Buying a supercar from McLaren must feel like being a rock star who’s going out with a supermodel -you just know there’ll he an even better one along any minute. The difference for the McLaren owner is that this is bad news, because the one you’ve bought is instantly less valuable.
So wedded is this company to its F1-inspired attitude of constant improvement that even when it turns its attention to entry-level cars – like the new Sport Series, comprised of the $325,000 540C and the pictured $379,000 570S – they turn out better than its pricier Performance Series, such as the body-pummeling $464,000 650S. The ‘cheaper’ cars are prettier, too, sharing a styling update based on the $1.8m P1. The 570S wears it best, and throws in a pair of beautiful winged doors that look like they’ve been pinched from a Guggenheim museum.
The interior of the Sport Series is also a big step forward, from the graphic layout, to the headroom, the case of access and the carbon feel of the new shift paddles. McLaren’s gone and perfected everything, again, in less time than it takes most to give a car a ‘facelift’ that’s little more than a paint job. The cheaper McLarens are slower, of course, which is just a trick of tuning as all three cars share the same twin-turbo V8 found in the 650S. In 650S tune, it’ll produce a frightening 478kW and 678Nm -enough to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in three seconds flat. It’s also enough to make your checks ache, and it’s truly fun – and addictive – to drive, like a combination of helium and cocaine.
The 570S, which is the best of the bunch, has to make do with a slower 3.4-second dash, with 419kW and 600Nm. But it’s the better car for it. In fact, the 570S is still so stupidly quick that it feels like you’re driving a horizontal Bungee sling. Sadly, they all sound like a very powerful, and scary, electric razor. While McLaren’s mastered most of the supercar arts, it’s still lacking a little in theatre. It’s why you’d have a Ferrari instead, if you could afford one. The fact that the Sport Series’ price starts in Porsche territory, however, makes this pretty tempting. Or you could just wait a month or two, for when McLaren unveils an even better model.