2016 McLaren 570S Coupe Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2016 McLaren 570S Coupe Review

2016 McLaren 570S Coupe
Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2016 McLaren 570S Coupe

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The all-new 2016 McLaren 570S is the first sports car model from this storied British marque to be offered under $200K. It's not the most affordable car in the segment, but those seeking a more exotic alternative to the mainstream options will want to consider the 570S.

  • Pros

    Incredible twin-turbo V8 engine; flawless seven-speed automated manual transmission; excellent handling and steering feel in a lightweight package; easiest McLaren model to live with to date.

  • Cons

    Touchscreen interface is small, plain-looking and not very intuitive.

  • What's New for 2016

    The McLaren 570S is an all-new model for 2016.

Review

McLaren may not be a brand as widely recognized in the American market as Aston Martin, Ferrari or Porsche, but for those with a deeper appreciation for machines born from companies with racing pedigrees, this British carmaker will undoubtedly carry special appeal.

The 2016 McLaren 570S is a hand-built, midengine, twin-turbo V8 sports car that scoots to the tune of 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Its main carbon-fiber body structure is exceptionally strong, and with thin aluminum body panels, it's one of the lightest cars in this exclusive segment. This bestows the 570S with intrinsic speed and handling talents, backed up by an adaptive suspension and sophisticated electronics that'll make just about anyone feel like a hero behind the wheel.

2016 McLaren 570S.

The 570S is the first model in McLaren's new Sport Series line of cars, slotting below the Ferrari-fighting Super Series (650S and 675LT Coupe and Spider models) and the million-dollar-plus Ultimate Series (P1). The Sport Series was designed with greater everyday comfort in mind and intended to start at a more accessible price -- that is, if you consider six figures accessible.

With McLaren still being somewhat of an esoteric breed on these shores, if you're looking for a more household British brand, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is very easy on the eyes and matches the McLaren at its rear-driven wheels, pony for pony. Another option is the Audi R8, which also offers amazing performance from a visceral mid-mounted V10 engine and sure-footed Quattro all-wheel drive. Or for those who prefer to fly a little lower on the radar, the all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Turbo S embraces its iconic familial shape, with some character enhancements that hint at 560 hp sitting under the rear deck lid.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2016 McLaren 570S is the first vehicle in the company's new Sport Series line and currently is available only as a two-seat coupe. A more touring-oriented version called the 570GT joins the 570S for the 2017 model year, and features a panoramic glass roof and a rear luggage hatch for accessing additional storage space behind the seats. The "Club Sport" 540C model, a more stripped-down version of the 570S that you may come across on the company's website, is not currently available in the U.S.

The 570S, even in its most basic form, isn't very basic at all. There are lightweight forged 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, carbon-ceramic brake discs, McLaren Brake-Steer technology, full LED lighting front and rear, three modes of electronically adaptive suspension and powertrain calibration, auto engine stop-start, a leather interior, keyless entry and ignition, a 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, one auxiliary and three USB inputs, Sirius Satellite Radio and HD radio, WiFi tethering, parking sensors, a rearview camera and an eight-speaker stereo system.

2016 McLaren 570S.

Diving into the options menu, a few packages rise to the top. For those who subscribe to a high carbon-fiber diet, there are two exterior treatment packages that bundle small (door mirror casing, side air intakes) and large (aero blades, side skirts, rear diffuser) features and convert them to gloss-finished carbon fiber. A carbon-fiber interior package dresses the cabin with satin finish pieces, which include door inserts, center tunnel walls, steering wheel spokes and gearshift paddles, door and lower console switches, as well as the touchscreen surround. The Lux package includes power-adjustable heated memory seats, a power-adjustable steering column, a 12-speaker, 1,280-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system and soft-close doors. All of the above options can be ordered à la carte, though the packages provide a nice discount over ordering them individually.

In the hardware department, an optional sports exhaust is available and can be done up in a black stealth finish. The Nose Lift option gives you the ability to raise the ride height for additional ramp and driveway clearance, which is an invaluable feature given any low-hanging carbon bits. There are two additional forged wheel options (a lighter-weight five-spoke and super lightweight 10-spoke), with all three wheel choices available in silver, stealth or diamond-cut finishes.

Additional stand-alone interior options include two upgraded Napa leather trims, as well as a Napa/Alcantara combination trim. You may also specify door sills finished in leather, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and leather or Alcantara headlining. For those with racetrack intentions for their 570S, McLaren offers an onboard GPS track telemetry system to record and analyze lap times, with a three-camera option that captures footage from the front and rear bumpers, while a third covers all the action within the cabin.

In addition to the standard catalog of options, McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the bespoke division of company, is available to fulfill additional requests. Items like a full carbon-fiber front splitter, rear bumper and roof are common upgrades, and we're told that no paint color is off the table, as long as you can furnish a small example. If you've ever dreamed of owning a one-of-one factory sports car, McLaren can make it happen.

2016 McLaren 570S.

Powertrains and Performance

Like all other McLaren models, the 570S has its engine mounted behind the passenger compartment, which keeps the majority of the car's mass centralized. The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 generates 562 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. It's based off the more powerful 650S engine, though McLaren says 30 percent of the engine parts are new and specific to the 570S.

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated manual transmission, which is the only transmission offered. First seen in the 650S, this transmission utilizes two clutches, but newly revised electronics can better coordinate ignition times with shifts, achieving gearchanges that can be aggressively positive, or smooth and seamless (depending on your driving mode).

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 570S is 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway), which is on the high end for the class, and is only slightly outperformed by the smaller turbocharged flat-6 in the Porsche 911 Turbo S (20 mpg combined/17 city/24 highway).

Launch control is standard, and McLaren claims the 570S sprints to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, passing the quarter-mile mark in 10.9 seconds at 137 mph. Top cruising speed is a leisurely 204 mph.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on 2016 McLaren 570S models includes antilock brakes; electronic stability control; dual front, knee and side curtain airbags; a rearview camera and parking sensors. 

2016 McLaren 570S.

Interior Design and Special Features

McLaren's state-of-the-art facility in Woking, England is all about functional, clean and elegant design. The interior of the 570S embodies this, with its minimal switchgear, arranged thoughtfully, providing all the organized functionality you need for driving and operating its many subsystems.

The doors swing up as they rotate forward on a single hinge, like a pair of Doberman ears. The front sills of the new carbon-fiber passenger cabin have been slimmed down and the step-over height has been reduced by more than 3 inches, making ingress/egress less of an exercise. The interior also feels more open and spacious than the 650S model, largely due to the new floating center stack design.

Seat adjustment controls are located inboard on the seat itself, adjacent to the center tunnel. They're a little difficult to access and completely non-intuitive for first-time users, but spend a few days fiddling with the buttons and you'll become accustomed to their controls.

The same goes for the touchscreen infotainment system. The menus and navigation system aren't quite Apple-level friendly, but a little time and effort spent familiarizing yourself with the layout will save you the frustration of trying to figure it out on the move. Additionally, some may not realize at first that the 7-inch touchscreen is in color, as many of the system menus adopt a simple, no-frills monochromatic theme.

Luggage space includes a 4.4-cubic-foot front truck, and a parcel shelf behind the rear seats that's substantial enough to house a duffel bag or two. The sizable glovebox found in the European model cars was traded in favor of a passenger-side knee bag. Therefore, a couple of cupholders, an armrest bin and elastic netting comprise the rest of the in-cabin storage space.

Overall cabin visibility is quite good thanks to the angle of the A-pillars and the low, door-mounted mirrors. And despite having a V8 engine tagging along behind you, the view directly out back is excellent. The aerodynamically functional, flying buttressed C-pillars on the 570S's rear flanks produce the usual blind spots, but not enough to make you feel as if you're flirting with danger by changing lanes.

2016 McLaren 570S.

Driving Impressions

If you want to make a car faster, two different approaches are to add power or subtract weight. The latter of these solutions comes with other perks. McLaren focused on minimizing weight, and much like wielding a lighter tool makes it easier to be precise, lightness is a keystone for how well the 570S behaves. It also retained a hydraulic-assisted steering rack, which is far less complicated to tune for just the right weight and road feel.

With less mass, stopping comes easier, too. The 570S comes with carbon brakes as standard that are easy to modulate in both casual and spirited driving. The brake pedal is about as firm as we've experienced in a modern street car, which helps maintain feel and confidence when braking hard from higher speeds.

Powertrain and handling settings are split between two dials, and independently configurable. The three modes for each system include Normal, Sport and Track, which dramatically alter the response of the car at each step. There are also three modes of stability control (On, Dynamic and Off) that progressively lower the electronic safety net as your confidence level grows. Unlike many traditional stability control systems, the 570S is significantly more transparent, which may lead you to think the electronics are less involved than they actually are.

The modes offer vastly different driving experiences, ranging from smooth and civil to manically playful. In the normal settings, the 570S is as easy to drive as an automatic 3 Series BMW. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox shifts and engages as any modern automatic transmission is expected. The suspension softens to a relatively comfortable degree, but because the 570S uses traditional antiroll bars, it doesn't ride quite as nicely as the 650S.

2016 McLaren 570S.

Crank all knobs to their clockwise stops and select ESC "dynamic," and you can be exiting the next corner with as much smoke pouring off the rear tires as you'd like. The limits are surprisingly approachable for a midengine car, though we're told Dynamic mode won't always save you from a spin. In the Track and Sport settings, response and acceleration are the priorities, which maximize the drama while shifting gears, while turning, while barreling toward the horizon, etc. The V8 engine is fantastic, with low-end torque delivered in disorienting amounts if unleashed in tight spaces.

We believe McLaren has hit its mark with the 570S. It's a car that is still very special (and pricey) by all measures, but it's also one that can be driven every day of the week without much concession.

Reviews from owners of the 2016 McLaren 570S Coupe

There are no consumer reviews for the 2016 McLaren 570S.
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