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McLaren 570S

It looks and drives like a supercar, but McLaren assures us it isn’t. The 570S is, in fact, a sports car, the cheapest McLaren on the lot—one that may cause Ferrari to rethink its strategy. We’re not typically in the habit of recommending carmakers’ least expensive offerings. But with its new 570S, McLaren makes any other course impossible. Simply put, the latest model from the vaunted English racecar constructor’s growing catalog of high-performance road cars is not only its most affordable offering ever, it is also the most satisfying the svelte repository of more easily accessible fun. So much so that we can say with assurance that if our supertanker came in tomorrow, even half-loaded—because the 570S’s starting price of $184,900 is no more (and possibly even less) than that of a well-optioned Porsche 911 Turbo, I will be talking to our McLaren dealer about it. And, as our English friends might say, sharpish.

 

It’s hard for even the most dimly aware car fan not to admire McLaren. Founded in the UK in the 1960s by New Zealand’s legendary ex-patriot race driver and constructor, the late Bruce McLaren, and latterly run by the maniacally single-minded English engineer/businessman Ron Dennis, the long-running operation has won eight Formula One constructors titles and dominated many other forms of racing throughout the years. Just as remarkably, the firm all but reinvented the supercar game late in the last century (1992-1999) with its first road car, the stunning, jewel-like, cost-no-object F1. More than a million bucks to buy even then, today it’s a rare, multi-million dollar collectible that’s appreciating in value with the velocity of, well, a Le Mans spec McLaren F1 GTR.

 

After a lengthy hiatus, interrupted only by a disappointing joint venture with Mercedes–AMG to build the SLR, McLaren returned to the high-end road car fray for real and on its own in 2011, with the less expensive than F1 but still costly ($230,000 and up) MP4-12C. Assembled in a purpose-built facility adjacent to McLaren’s ultra-modern HQ in Woking, Surrey, that car was impressive, with supercar looks, blinding speed and immense grip, just as a buyer looking for a Ferrari 458 or other mid-engine supercar alternative might hope. While generally admired by the critics, however, the MP4-12C fell short of sales expectations, quickly sending McLaren engineers back to their cad-cam drawing boards. Fortunately, the basic conception was sound. So in revised and lightly restyled form, that first new-era car re-emerged in 2014 as the 650S, available as a coupe for $267,900 or a convertible spider model for a not inconsiderable $28,000 more, or, should you prefer even more power, as the still pricier ($375,000) track-oriented 675LT.

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Added: Esexy (2015-10-23)
Category: Vehicle Interest
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