So you’ve got a quarter-mil burning a hole in your pocket and you’re looking for a “junior” supercar. Well, life just got a bit more complicated.
Top of list might be the blue-chip Porsche Turbo S that opens at $214,800 – 580-hp, all-wheel drive, blazing acceleration, seven-speed PDK dual-clutch, unassailable build along with near-luxury-car coddling. As a year-round supercar, you can’t do better. Plus it has back seats – sort of. But perhaps a tad too aloof? And soooo common…
If you need more flair, more edge and a wicked soundtrack, the second-generation $213,900 Audi R8 Plus could be the one. It’s now lighter, faster, handles better, has a terrific seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box, and that epic over-square naturally aspirated 610 hp 5.2L V10 screams to 8,500 rpm. One of man’s greatest accomplishments.
And holy crap. You can get essentially the same car wrapped in the sexiest of Italian duds. It’s called the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 and that will cost an additional 50 grand, give or take.
But wait. What’s that sound? It’s not real pretty but it sure means business. That would be the racy blare of the McLaren 570S, launching itself into this wafer-thin slice of the market with all the bona-fides you could ever hope for. And a starting price of $219,000.
The 570S checks all the boxes. Its mid-rear-mounted 3.8L twin-turbo V8 drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 562 hp and 443 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm, thank you. Visual punch? It’s an erotically sculpted door-stop that drop-kicks all who gawk right into the middle of next week. Especially in this $4,530 optional screaming orange paint. And just to be sure, the 570S brags the most supercar-ish of affectations – scissor doors.
About the only thing the McLaren 570S lacks is weight. With its carbon-fibre tub and aluminum skin, it comes in at a paltry 1,446 kilograms. That’s about 170 kg less than the Porsche Turbo S, and boy, can you feel it. This car separates itself from the competition in a big way. The McLaren 570S comes across as a racecar that wants to be a road car, whereas the others are road cars aspiring to go in the other direction.
If this is your cup of tea, the tingling 570S will provide no end of thrills.
The “More Practical” Model: McLaren Announces the 570GT
The McLaren experience begins before you even fire up the engine. Doors swing up, people stare, and you glide in gracefully because you’ve been practicing. Supercar guys and gals do not whack their noggins on the door and groan while folding themselves over the car-fibre flying buttresses and into the terrifically snug and yes, comfortable Alcantara-trimmed sport seats. No, we’re just a little too cool for that.
Once ensconced, you’re dicking around with a set of obtuse seat adjustment buttons that live on the lower right corner of the chair. Hey, this car is British. Then it’s time to press the starter button.