When the bright Spring sun smiles on Tenerife, the world seems ripe for the taking. But when you’re seated in the bonkers McLAREN 570GT it’s more than that: the world is ripe for overtaking. Sun, sea, and super cars— does it get any better?
McLaren’s Sports Series model range, comprised of the 540C Coupé, 570S Coupé and 570GT represents the marque’s most attainable series of vehicles yet, positioned just below the Super Series and Ultimate Series, but you won’t feel any less of a boss out on the road, and the luxurious touches make the cars a bit more accessible than their brethren.
First off, this is every bit a McLaren, so power (of which there’s an ample amount) is delivered to the wheels via the same seven-speed twin-clutch SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) as the Super Series, mated to Woking’s revised take on their 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine featuring 30 percent new components. The results are palpable when you open the throttle, and have their apex with the 570S Coupé iteration claiming a class-leading power-to-weight figure of 434PS. As tested, the 570GT clearly enjoys a quite appealing power to weight ratio as well.
The tranny operates in ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ modes, and all the settings are unique to the Sports Series, recalibrated to produce faster shifts, by paying special attention to the rate of engine speed transitions. Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development at McLaren explains that this transmission is tuned to deliver a very specific driving experience.“The sense of engagement with the car during gearshift as well as when accelerating and decelerating is key in delivering the exhilarating feel for the McLaren Sports Series,” he said. “It is also key to delivering exhilaration throughout the performance envelope of the car, not just when the driver might be seeking the fastest lap time, for example.”
The results are smooth, with a torrent of on demand torque when you want it, and a calmer demeanour for those aforementioned weekends away. The series is set up with a new throttle control program that ramps engine speed up or down more quickly during shifts, depending on what you’re foot is telling the car. The gear change calibrations in the 570GT are the most refined in the segment, but quite aggressive enough for intensely spirited driving when you want it.
Originating in the 650S, Woking’s cylinder cut technology has been improved here to activate on both upshifts and downshifts, up to 10 times faster than earlier iterations. To provide the greatest sense of interaction and performance during all driving situations, three control strategies have been developed: Powershift, GT3 Shift and ‘Inertia Push.’ Also developed for the 650S, Interia Push is a vailable in Track mode from above 2,500rpm and from 60 percent throttle input, this clever bit of tech repurposes the inertia of the flywheel to deliver an impulse of torque as the next gear is engaged. This delivers the next gear before the engine speed can drop, resulting in very linear, and fierce acceleration as the driver upshifts.
It might sound strange, but the 570GT is the most, er, sensible car ever rolled out of Woking, a ride that is intended to accommodate long road trips and weekend getaways. The car is easier to get in and out of too, thanks to a lower and narrower sill, while the signature dihedral doors open with a more upward arc. Passengers sit like royalty atop eight-way electrically adjustable sports seats are upholstered in leather as standard. A centrally-mounted touchscreen controls air conditioning, telephony, navigation and audio systems, while vehicle setup is configurable via the TFT LCD digital instrument cluster.
Owing to its lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, and careful use of lightweight materials and design techniques throughout, the Sports Series is almost 150kg lighter than its closest rival. The interior has been specially designed with a focus on day-to-day usability, with optimised access, greater levels of stowage space and more refinement, especially in the luxurious 570GT, with its fixed-glass Panoramic Roof, a real joy under those sublime Spanish skies. A side-opening glass hatch also helps creates an additional 220 litres of luggage space on the leather-lined deck.
About that leather— the materials in the 570GT are top quality. The car’s are hand-assembled in the state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre in Surrey, England to meticulous standards— each car requires 188 man hours to build, with a team of 370 assembly and quality technicians all doing their part. In particular, the ‘By McLaren interiors bring the carmaker’s considerable insight and experience to new heights of sportiness and extravagance. “As we move forward as a business we take learnings from previous projects and current products, and now moving into the sports car sector, the programme has become the most challenging to date as we push the bar of quality and performance even higher,” said Rob Raven, Quality Director.
The Sports Series represents the most attainable McLaren models to date, and the highest level of personalisation. Bespoke ‘By McLaren’ specifications offer a mix of sports or luxury finishes within the cabin in conjunction with a broad exterior colour palette. In addition to this, the widest variety of optional equipment ever offered by McLaren allows owners to individually tailor seating, interior finishes, upholstery and audio systems.
After a long day of wringing considerable grip and performance out of the rarified, yet approachable 570GT I elated and ready for a rest. But with a key difference— a day of driving in a hyper car can leave you exhausted, and sore from bracing yourself. With the 570GT McLaren has found a happy medium— if I ached at all, it was only because the throttle is so very tempting in this beast, I have only myself to blame.
The McLaren 570GT is available in the following countries at the base retail price without options:
UAE: AED 793,950
KSA: SAR 811,800
Kuwait: KD 62,250
Qatar: QR 787,600
Bahrain: BD 81,450