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McLaren’s cheapest supercar: it’s the 540C
McLaren has revealed a new supercar that is both its cheapest and least powerful currently on offer. Meet the McLaren 540C, here presented in digital form.
It’s real though, and is on display at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. It represents the entry-entry-level model in McLaren’s supercar line-up, underneath the formerly entry-level 570S (recently unveiled in New York), the £195k 650S, the £260k 675LT, and of course, the P1. Which costs much, much more.
So, the new baby, ‘baby’ McLaren, gets the same mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as the rest of the McLarens, only here, it produces 533bhp (540PS, hence the name), and 398lb ft of torque.
That’s fed through the same seven-speed twin-clutcher to the rear wheels, to record a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds (3.2s for the 570S), a 0-124mph time of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 199mph. The 570S tops out at 204mph.
The ‘MonoCell’ carbon tub remains the same too, though here it’s been redesigned to make getting in and out of the thing easier. Aluminium body panels also help keep the weight down to 1311kg - just 2kg lighter than the 570S.
There’s adaptive damping - revised over the 570S’s damping for a more usable, ‘daily driver’ focus - with three settings of normal, sport and track. You can work out which one to use where. There are front and rear anti-roll bars, the same ‘brake-steer’ system as on the 570S, and a revised aero package to mark it out.
Yep, look closely, and you’ll notice the new aero blades below the front bumper, a new rear diffuser, a new spoiler and new alloy wheels available in silver or ‘stealth’ finish.
But here’s the kicker: it’ll be available in the UK, with prices kicking off at £126,000, which represents a £17k saving over the 570S. Which puts it right in the firing line of the 533bhp V10-engined new Audi R8, and of course, the Porsche 911 Turbo. So, which will it be?