Driven: McLaren 570S - the new king of sports cars?

The Brits move into the mainstream with this new aluminium shelled machine.

Damien Reid August 10, 2016

For those in the sports car game like Porsche, Aston Martin and AMG who have been watching new boy McLaren taking on the supercar big guys over the past six years, things are about to get serious in their neck of the woods.

McLaren’s 570S is the company’s big move into the mainstream taking on the likes of the Porsche 911 turbo, AMG GT, Audi R8 V10 and Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

Using a 562bhp version of the 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 from the rest of the range, the entry level McLaren does away with the expensive composite bodywork, instead having an aluminium shell, while the clever hydraulic suspension makes way for conventional anti-roll bars and the active aero is also missing. 

What stays is the dual-clutch, seven-speed box attached to that gorgeous engine driving through the rear wheels, a carbon fibre tub and of course McLaren’s trademark dihedral-opening doors which are now easier to use thanks to sills that sit 80mm lower and cut further into the door opening.

As you’d except with an engine of this pedigree, the 570S is still a scorcher. There is some turbo lag below 3000rpm but let it wind out to its 8000rpm redline and it’s an absolute joy to peddle quickly. Getting from zero to 100kmh takes 3.1 seconds and it has a quoted top speed of 326kmh.

The standard carbon-ceramic brakes are powerful enough to easily haul in every bit of sudden velocity you might inadvertently accrue either on road or track.

Despite using the conventional suspension, it’s handling is outstanding and its grip level was eye wateringly good, offering a flat ride even in Normal Mode, while rotating the Adaptive Dynamic panel dial around to Sport and Race stiffened things up markedly to the point of being uncomfortable on some of the poorer quality roads around town. These top two modes are best left for track days.


  • Engine: 3.8-litre, V8 twin turbo
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic
  • Power: 562bhp @ 7500rpm
  • Torque: 600Nm @ 5000rpm
  • 0-100kmh: 3.1 second
  • Top speed: 326kmh
  • Price: AED 740,000

Overall, the McLaren 570S is a welcome addition to the sports car market as an alternative to the V10 Audi R8 and even the king of the segment, the Porsche 911 turbo S.

And knowing how McLaren react as a Formula One team, if there are any shortcomings, you can bet, just like the updates made to the 12C and 650S, that they will address it in double quick time.