McLaren has billed their new 540C Coupé as the most “attainable” model in the range. It’s all relative, we suppose and the newcomer will cost around £126 000 (R2 305 755) at the current exchange rate. Pre-orders have begun abroad and the first deliveries will begin in 2016.
But, despite this “budget” mandate the automaker is adamant that it is still an authentic McLaren. It’s got a light weight carbon fibre chassis and race-inspired technologies. Powering the car is a 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 397kW and 540Nm of torque.
It tips the scales at 1311 kilograms and overall mass has been curbed thanks to the liberal use of materials like aluminium. McLaren says it’s around 150 kilograms lighter than its closest competitor. It’ll be going up against the likes of the Audi R8 and Porsche 911.
Dashing to 100km/h from standstill takes 3.5 seconds, while the 0-200km/h sprint takes 10.5 seconds. McLaren claims a top speed of 320km/h. Highlights include the F1-derived Brake Steer system, which aims to aid cornering by applying brake force to the inside rear wheel. This means you can brake later and get back on the power sooner, according to McLaren.
In addition, they’ve worked hard to make it easy to drive in daily conditions. The 540C has adaptive dampers, with various settings including “Normal”, “Sport” and “Track”. Inside, it’s luxuriously trimmed and boasts niceties like a seven-inch touchscreen interface – which also incorporates the air-conditioning controls.