Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
You might expect something mid-engined and rear-wheel drive with this much power to feel daunting, yet the 570S is remarkably easy to get used to. Thanks to a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, you can just slot it into drive and pull away smoothly and without drama.
Should you need to, it’s possible to potter around town without worry. The throttle is easy to modulate and there’s even some creep built into the transmission to make hill starts and parking relatively simple.
The steering feels alive in your hands and gives you the confidence to push on when the road gets technical. Not only does this help involve you in the driving process, but it also serves as a reminder that McLaren are first and foremost a motorsport company and value such things as proper steering feel – something that can’t be said for Lamborghini and the rather numb steering of the Huracan.
And yet, despite being focused towards the driving enthusiast, McLaren hasn’t compromised on the day to day usability of the 570S. Indeed, it’s arguably the best riding car in its class and that’s despite it not having the clever hydraulics of the 720S and P1. In fact, we’d go so far to say that it rides better than many executive cars we’ve tried.
But that said, you’re not going to buy a car like this to drive slowly, and it’s when you start to explore what the 570S is capable of that it really starts to impress. The 3.8-litre V8 has twin turbochargers to give 562bhp, and while it can’t quite match the naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) R8 V10 Plus for aural fireworks, the performance it delivers is quite frankly awe inspiring.
From a standstill, you’ll be doing 62mph after just 3.2 seconds and you’ll hit 100mph if you keep your foot down for another 3.1 seconds. Somehow, this never feels scary; a well sorted chassis and plenty of electronic assistance means you can easily use all of the car’s performance should conditions allow.
Indeed, with the stability control system loosened off in Dynamic mode, you can tease the car into small slides by using a bit more throttle on corner exits. This might sound daunting, especially in a mid-engined sports car, but McLaren designed the 570S to be playful yet approachable and this makes it far more fun on a twisting road than the all-wheel drive Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo.