User-friendly Speedster: McLaren 570S

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Though different models share similar profiles because of their common platform and roofline, McLaren has done away with active aerodynamic aids on the 570S, which doesn’t even have a rear wing of any kind. There is just a lip spoiler to create laminar separation at the tail, as all the downforce comes from ground effects generated/balanced by the deep front splitter-spoiler and complicated rear diffuser. Compared to the 650S, the 570S has less than half the total downforce, amounting to about 100kg. While useful, that figure does not dominate the car’s handling at higher speeds.

McLaren claims the cabin is longer and wider than that of the 650S, but it’s hard  to tell. What’s obvious is the easier entry/exit, courtesy of the dihedral doors’ more upwards and forward arc, and the 80mm lower sills of the MonoCell II carbon fibre chassis. The carbon tub weighs just 75kg, but it’s still 6kg heavier than the one used for the 650S, with the extra weight due to the reinforcement required where the tub narrows to provide clearance for one’s shoes. The interior design is similar to the 650S and just as functional, but it has been simplified for the 570S. There’s a central 7-inch multi-function touchscreen that handles all the usual settings for air-con, infotainment and navigation. The driver’s LCD instrument cluster is more interesting, with its three zones displaying related driving data and relevant information. In Sport mode, the LCD screen shows the gear selection, which is prioritised (with bigger numbers and brighter colours) over vehicle speed at the centre of the rev counter. In Track mode, the display changes to show a racecar-inspired tachometer that presents just the vital info – lap times on the left and tyre pressures on the right.

The twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 (codenamed M838TE) made by Ricardo is basically the same as the one powering the 650S, but tuned to supply 570bhp. The surge of power is less frenetic and more manageable in the 570S, giving the driver a bit more time to process the sheer pace and enjoy it even more. With 570bhp propelling a body that weighs just over 1.3 tonnes dry, this car is fast. It zips to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and hits 200km/h just 6.3 seconds later. The 570S handles like the 650S, but in a more user-friendly fashion and with less absolute grip, due to the less “forceful” downforce and the narrower P Zero Corsa tyres. But the handling limits of this coupe are still very high and ready to be explored.

Read the full story at Torque.

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