This is one of the most exhilerating cars I've ever driven - let me explain.
McLaren only started 7 years ago, and what they've achieved in that time is unfathomable for an automotive manufacturer, find out more by reading McLaren Automotive | The Perfect Road Car. The company offers a range of body styles including the Coupe and the Spider, and if you're wanting something bespoke you can utilise MSO, McLaren Special Operations.
We experienced the 570s in Vega Blue, at the breathtaking Calcot Manor Hotel and Spa deep in the Cotswolds; the perfect venue and surrounding area to really get to grips with a 562bhp (570ps) sports car. The Spider was announced at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed, following on from the 570 Coupe in 2015. A mid engined sports car, the Spider is literally only 40 or so kg's heavier than the Coupe.
The whole look of this car is iconic McLaren, with looks to match - the shaping, the headlamps and the body style dripping in carbon fibre and glossy colour, that colour being one of McLaren's elite paints, Vega Blue. The front and rear LED headlamps with the incorporated McLaren logo are very efficient, full beam is extremely impressive, highlighting everything with ease, and the car also comes with daytime LED running lights. The body of the car is a Carbon Fibre MonoCell II structure with body panels constructed from an Aluminium composite, making the car extremely safe and very lightweight.
The bodystyling elements are finished in Dark Palladium, these parts consist of:-
- Front splitter
- Aero blades
- Front and side air intakes
- Exterior door insert
- Waist rail
- Rear bumper with diffuser
- Rear deck
- Tonneau cover
and in addition, the electronically retractable roof is also finished in Dark Palladium too, making it the perfect ensemble.
As you would expect this car has some very stylish doors, well the 570s has two hinged dihedral doors, manually operated with the door button hidden on the inside of the exterior panel, and finally to help with drag and roadholding the car is finished off with a fixed rear spoiler.
The wheels as standard are 20", they are lightweight 10 spoke forged alloy wheels in a silver finish wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, the width of the front tyres are 225 with a 35 profile and the rears are 285 with a 35 profile. Seriously wide wheels and tyres with complimenting silver callipers.
The Interior, Tech and Practicality
Stepping into the cockpit of the sports car you are immediately struck with awe inspiring grins, and as soon as you press the button on the soft close dihedral door and you step in, you know your instore for something very special. You're immediately met with a very luxurious look and feel, Leather, Alcantara and of course Carbon Fibre. A racing car with these levels of luxury was something you couldn't fail to love.
The interior consists of an extended Leather interior in Carbon black, as does the steering wheel and the brightwork is finished in satin silver. The main components are by McLaren Designer 6 A natural Tan / Carbon black Performance | Nappa leather with Carbon black Alcantara and pure white stitching; this interior was perfection.
This particular model came with the luxury pack, meaning power adjustable sports seats - heated with memory function, and seeing these were sports seats they were extremely comfortable and gripped you perfectly. This low slung position was complimented by the power adjustable steering column, enabling you to have the perfect seating position. Everywhere you looked you were met with bespoke additions, tailored McLaren car mats, B & W 12 speaker premium sound system with a 7in HD infotainment system offering DAB, iPhone connectivity, voice controlled Satellite Navigation, blue tooth connectivity and electric windows and Vega Blue racing electric mirrors.
The interior was complimented with a Carbon Fibre pack meaning trimmed components (switch pack surrounds, steering wheel spokes and gearshift paddles) as well as interior door inserts and tunnel sides, and to add gloss to the interior there were other components and surrounds etc. finished in black sparkle metallic paint.
The sound of this car has to be felt as well as heard, and McLaren know this and have added an electronically operated rear window which you drop to allow you to hear the engine without getting wet in typical British weather.
The time and effort that goes into these cars, you can tell just by looking that everything you touch has had months of thought put into it to make it perfect, the finishes, the materials and the style - pure indulgence.
Now practicality isn't really what you'd buy this car for, however it has decent storage in the front, 150l enough for a weekend bag or a few shopping bags, and the tonneau will stow an additional 51l, and don't forget the door bins, perfectly ample.
As soon as you've adjusted your electronic steering wheel, seats and mirrors and you put your foot on the brake and pressed the Start Button, you are transported to a place of unimaginable pleasure, hearing the V8 roar into life, this is ten fold with the roof down, or the rear window down.
A clever addition to the car we were driving was the vehicle lift option, with a press of a button and lift of a stick you could raise the front of the car allowing you to traverse obstacles with ease such as speed bumps, hotel entrances and the like.
The 570 is powered by a McLaren twin turbo V8 engine and 7 speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG as it's known), you also have the option of operating the gearbox automatically or with the paddle system. Now having virtually 570 horses (562bhp) under your foot you would think could be a daunting prospect, however, nothing could be further from the truth - this car in a word is managable.
With the dual clutch, pulling off is sheer pleasure, no jerks, no on off clutch and the way the throttle response relays back to the driver needs to be experienced to be believed. The power delivery is oustanding with the gearbox almost knowing which gear you require before you do, holding onto gears when performing more spirited driving and changing up when you need it, also having that option of a paddle shift added a new level of enjoyment allowing you to be the ring master, whether it's the perfect launch or just to make the 570s Spider Roar. If you want to really enhance your drive, either drop the top, taking only 15 seconds and operable up to 25mph, or drop the rear window and get up close and personal with the twin turbo charged V8 just behind your head.
The car comes with 3 active modes which adjust the suspension and powertrain, Normal, Sport and Track, the normal mode was ample enough to achieve lightning acceleration with the desired V8 roar and tight controlled steering allowing for a comfortable experience. The roads and volumes of traffic didn't allow for the other modes. In addition, the 570s comes with TCS (Traction Control System) with ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with dynamic mode, ABS (Anti Lock Braking) brake assist, stop start, keyless start and keyless entry.
All these assists make driving the car engaging with a very safe feeling element, impressive for a RWD car that can achieve 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and clears a quarter of a mile in 11 seconds and delivers 431lb ft of torque.
The steering is very intuitive yet a little weighted, but that's a good thing it, its constant movement makes you feel constantly in control, feeling every part of the road like a sports or super car should. With the stability and various modes enhancing the experience, the response is crisp, offering a very refined drive, which is very comfortable, rivalling more luxury cars even without the suspension of the P1. The handling is superb - stiff enough with no roll. As for hill starts and manoeuvring, this is simple a task with the gearbox wizardry.