McLaren 570S review

Category: Sports car

The McLaren 570S is crushingly fast yet communicative and fun, even at sane speeds

McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S
  • McLaren 570S


What Car? says...

If you were to take a look at the specifications of the McLaren 570S, you might expect McLaren to describe it as a supercar. With 562bhp from a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8, it’s good for a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 204mph.

It seems McLaren doesn’t reckon that’s enough performance for a supercar these days; the Woking-based company insist that the 570S is a sports car. That doesn’t mean it counts the Mazda MX-5 as a rival, though – the 570S has the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 firmly in its sights.

Both of those are cars that can potentially be used every day, yet can still top 200mph on a long enough stretch of autobahn or runway. The McLaren is certainly fast enough, but there’s more to it than that.

To make sure it’s a practical proposition, the carbon fibre chassis has been designed to ensure entry and exit is as painless as possible. Furthermore, storage space is more generous than you would have found in the now discontinued McLaren 12C. Arguably, this is the most complete car the brand has ever built.

Over the next few pages, we'll tell you how it matches up to those rivals, how practical it is and even what it’ll cost to run. More importantly, we'll tell you just how much fun it is, too.


The McLaren 570S is crushingly fast yet communicative and fun, even at sane speeds.

  • Incredibly fast
  • Fantastic handling
  • Surprisingly large boot
  • Could sound more tuneful
  • Lacks all-weather appeal of R8 and 911 Turbo
  • Infotainment system could be better

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.

McLaren 570 image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

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.

McLaren 570S


The interior layout, fit and finish

It’s very easy to get comfortable in the 570S. There’s plenty of adjustment for the driving seat and steering wheel and the chair itself is comfortable and very supportive. There are no conventional dials in the instrument binnacle; instead you get a configurable TFT display that shows you all-important information clearly and attractively.

Infotainment is taken care of by a touchscreen system mounted in a portrait orientation in the centre console. It’s easy enough to navigate, but we still find systems like Audi’s MMI and BMW’s iDrive better; it can be tricky to hit icons accurately on a touchscreen when travelling down a particularly bumpy bit of tarmac. McLaren’s system still trumps that of the Ferrari 488 GTB, though.

Looking around the rest of the interior, you notice that everything looks and feels high quality. From the action of all the switches and controls to the stitching on the leather seats, it all feels in keeping with the car’s £100,000+ price tag.

McLaren 570S

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Despite being the ‘baby’ of the McLaren range, the 570S is actually slightly bigger than the discontinued 650S on which it is loosely based. Changes to the carbon fibre tub bring the sill  80mm lower and the doors open wider to improve interior access. Despite the low roofline, head room is good, and there’s plenty of space between the driver and passenger.

No one is ever going to buy a mid-engined, two-seat sports car for sheer practicality, but McLaren has still provided a surprising amount of stowage space. There’s a 144-litre boot (bigger than that of a 911 or R8) in the nose of the 570S, and you can fit a bag of golf clubs behind the rear seats. There’s also a glovebox and various cubbyholes in the cabin.

McLaren 570S

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

It doesn’t matter how you look at it, there’s no logical justification to spend this sort of money on a car: such machines are something you want rather than need. It comes as little consequence that the McLaren’s standard specification includes climate control, leather seats and a touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and Bluetooth connectivity when you can find all that in cars that cost many thousands of pounds less.

It strengthens the McLaren’s claim towards common sense when you compare it to certain rivals on running costs. With CO2 emissions of 249g/km and combined fuel economy of 26.6mpg, it beats the Audi R8 in both normal and Plus guises. Saying that, a Porsche 911 Turbo is actually “even more” economical.

McLaren 570S