This circuit-focused McLaren will keep drivers on the edge of their seats – literally
You know it’s time to go on a diet when you turn down the opportunity to do a solo 800-mile drive in a McLaren 570S because your behind is too big to fit in the seat. That, I’m afraid, is the indignity I suffered when weighing various options for returning to Wales from Geneva in March.
In my defence, I did have the option of another even more powerful McLaren with more sympathetically scalloped seats that I duly grabbed with both hands, and a very nice drive I had too. Moreover, the 570S was not only this ‘Track Pack’ version with carbon-shelled seats, but was also fitted with the smaller of the two available sizes
that should only be chosen by the conspicuously serpentine of hip. A few hours in it on the way out to Geneva was enough to convince me that spending most of a day behind the wheel on the return leg was an idea more enticing in theory than reality.
Happily the time I did spend in the car was largely in the Alps. The so-called Track Pack adds £16,500 to the price of the car yet leaves the engine and suspension settings entirely unchanged. Instead the claimed 25kg weight saving comes primarily from those carbon seats, and lighter alloy wheels. In addition the car comes with a rear wing extended by 12mm claimed to add 29kg of downforce at 150mph (which I’m fairly sure you’d not notice), some Alcantara on the inside and the clever Track app already seen on the 675LT that allows the car to gather weapons-grade data about your track work.
The curious thing is how much more sporting it feels. I’m sure no one other than a McLaren test driver could genuinely tell the difference between this and a standard car, but those seats do seem to put you in closer touch with the road surface and impart still greater confidence, providing greater access to what this car has always done best: cross challenging roads with a degree of efficiency and driver involvement unrivalled at the price. Backed by what seems like many more than the advertised 562bhp, the car’s wicked streak has grown further still: it eggs you on like few cars ever did, seducing you with its pace and ability, and the way its handling balance and stability systems flatter your driving. However fast you want to go, it always wants to go faster.
But of course the Track Pack is merely an amuse-bouche, something to keep those wanting a more extreme Sports Series McLaren entertained while the company works away on the truly hard-core version to come. No, I don’t know that a 570LT (or whatever they decide to call it) is coming for sure, but I’ve heard enough rumours and seen enough nudges and winks to be fairly confident. And, of course, it makes perfect sense. But not yet: there is the roadster version still to launch before there is any chance of such a car reaching the showroom. But if this a mere taste of what’s to come, it should be well worth the wait.
3.8 litres, 8 cylinders, turbocharged
443lb [email protected]
seven-speed paddle shift, rear-wheel drive
POWER TO WEIGHT
436bhp per tonne
TOP SPEED 204mph