The all-new McLaren Sports Series brings McLaren race-derived technologies and supercar driving exhilaration to the sports car market for the first time. Launching with two power outputs, the Sports Series offers class-leading performance, lightweight construction including a carbon fibre chassis, recognisable McLaren design values and a comprehensive specification list. Pricing for the higher-powered 570S, shown for the first time at the New York International Auto Show, will retail from £143,250. McLaren also confirmed that the pricing for the 540C Coupe will start at £126,000. This model will be unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show when further details and pricing information will be made available. Global deliveries of the Sports Series will commence later this year.
The latest addition to the McLaren range completes the three tier model strategy alongside the Super Series and Ultimate Series. The Sports Series is the most usable and attainable model to wear a McLaren badge to date, but it retains the core design and dynamic focus that ensure it is still worthy of the iconic name. Weighing as low as 1,313kg (2,895lbs), thanks in part to the unique lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the Sports Series is almost 150kg lighter than its closest rival. Power is provided by an evolution of the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine with 30 percent new components. This ensures electrifying performance, with the 570S boasting a class-leading power-to-weight figure of 434PS. At the same time, the interior is more tailored around day-to-day usability, with optimised access, greater levels of stowage space and more refinement.
The covers were pulled from a pair of 570S Coupes in dramatic fashion to premiere two new 'By McLaren' colour specifications, highlighting the levels of customisation available. The Ventura Orange model showed a more track-focus, with extensive exterior carbon fibre upgrades, optional stealth-finished five-spoke lightweight wheel option and two-tone sports interior, while the Blade Silver model debuted a more luxurious specification with saddle tan interior and the 10-spoke super lightweight wheels.
'The new Sports Series is aimed at a new audience for McLaren,' explains Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive. 'It's the first time we've competed in the sports car as opposed to the supercar market. As with all McLaren models, we have prioritised performance, driving engagement and exhilaration. It is a totally driver-focused car, with excellent ergonomics and visibility, and a class-leading driving position. This is also the most day-to-day usable, practical and attainable McLaren we've ever made. It is a dramatic and beautiful sports car.'
THE McLAREN 570S: THE DETAILS
The Sports Series introduces the McLaren design language to the sports car segment for the first time, with tense, 'shrinkwrapped', body lines marking it out from the competition. Immediately identifiable as a McLaren, the Sports Series includes design features such as elegant flying buttresses, dihedral doors and a concave rear window to bring a new, unique and exciting look to the sports car segment.
Dynamic styling provides visual presence and is based around functional elements, combining fluid surfaces and strong features to deliver a design that optimises air flow management in, out and around the vehicle. Weight is minimised through the layering of panels, which are designed to float above aerodynamic surfaces along with suspended members, supporting the potency of this compact sports car.
The use of aluminium for the majority of body panels keeps weight to a minimum, while the new forming methods allow for a more intricate and detailed design, including the intricate rear deck.
FIXED AERODYNAMIC PACKAGE
The front bumper design on the Sports Series is crucial to how the air interacts with the bodywork. It is the first area to interact with the airflow, dictating how air is controlled before passing over, under and through the vehicle. The front bumper has a pronounced centre point that forms the centre of pressure, piercing the air to reduce drag and forming four quadrants. The air is divided above and below the bodywork, and also to either side. The strong crease lines along the bonnet add design definition and, more importantly, aid air flow over the doors and into the side air intakes, to help cool the high temperature radiators – a principle used in Formula 1™. Below the front bumper are the carefully angled Aero Blades which create an area of high pressure ahead of the low temperature radiators.
An integrated spoiler at the trailing edge of the rear deck has been optimised for a balance of drag and downforce. The surfaces leading to the integrated spoiler have been design to be as streamlined as possible, ensuring clean airflow to provide more downforce.
DIHEDRAL DOORS FEATURE 'FLOATING' TENDONS
Every McLaren road car since the iconic McLaren F1 from the 1990s has included distinctive dihedral doors, and the Sports Series continues that design tradition. In true McLaren style, the newly designed doors have been developed to offer a greater operating range, and with a revised opening arc, they allow easier access to the cabin with a larger aperture opening. The carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis is also a unique design further improving ingress and egress.
The advanced and intricate door design is inspired by those on the McLaren P1™, and features a 'floating' tendon which works to channel air into the ultra efficient air intake. This supplements the side intakes that directly feed the HTRs (High Temperature Radiators) which, in turn allows for smaller side intakes, reducing drag.
As with other panels on the Sports Series, the doors are produced primarily from aluminium to minimise weight and allow for the intricate aerodynamic design. The upper tendon is manufactured using a resin injection process to deliver an extremely rigid yet slender component, along with a lightweight core to minimise weight. To keep the exterior surfaces clear, the door is opened using the button located on the lower edge of the tendon.
Every effort has been made to optimise aerodynamic performance on the Sports Series. An example of this is evident in the design of the wing mirror arms, which improve cooling efficiency by two percent. This aerodynamic gain has been achieved through minimising the cross sectional area of the wing mirror arms while also studying how best the airflow from the vehicle and mirrors interact.
The 'shrinkwrapped' design of McLaren Sports Series carefully channels the airflow over every panel. The rear of the glasshouse on the Sports Series features unique floating C pillars, allowing air to follow the shape of the cabin, and flow beneath. The design has been aerodynamically optimised to primarily to counteract lift over the roof. The airflow channelled through the buttress equalises the areas of low pressure created by the convex roof, increasing downforce. In addition, this feature also minimises drag, and increases the flow of cool, clean air over the engine bay to optimise powertrain heat management.
A further distinctive feature of the Sports Series Coupe models is a concave rear windscreen which sits between the flying buttresses. Together with new thinner B pillars, this design ensures visibility from within the Sports Series is excellent – something McLaren models are renowned for – especially for a mid-engine sports car, where rear and rear-three-quarter vision can often be compromised.
Airflow management is key to the Sports Series, from the front bumper through the integrated rear spoiler. Below this sits an intricate rear diffuser, unrivalled in its class for complexity and effectiveness. Efficiency is maximised with the underside of the Sports Series being completely flat, feeding clean air to the rear of the vehicle and the aggressive diffuser.
The Sports Series offers unrivalled performance and driving exhilaration in the sports car class. It is the only car in its sector to offer all the credentials typically found in the top-tier supercars: lightweight carbon fibre chassis construction, mid-engine rear wheel drive configuration. Overall performance for the 570S is class leading with the 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) sprint taking 3.2 seconds, while 200 km/h is reached in just 9.5 seconds. Top speed is 328 km/h (204mph).
A dry weight of as low as 1,313kg (2,895lbs) is around 150kg (330lbs) lighter than the nearest rival. This low weight optimises handling, agility and makes the Sports Series even more responsive. Chris Goodwin, McLaren Chef Test Driver explains: 'For the Sports Series we wanted to offer a real sports car feel. Ultimately, it means a car than feels nimble, agile and it must also possess a lightness and directness of response to drivers' inputs. Certainly for us, a sports car really needs to engage the driver, at any speed.'
The steering in the Sports Series has been designed with refinement and feel as the key parameters. A fast steering rack ratio allows quick changes of direction and improves ease of control when driving at the limit – pivotal to a great sports car. As with the models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series ranges, the system used for the Sports Series is electro-hydraulic ensuring a natural feel that cannot be replicated with a fully electric setup.
The electro-hydraulic pump also powers the optional front lift system – which allows the ride height to be increased by 40mm at speeds of up to 60km/h (37mph).
WHEELS & TYRES
As with the other models in the McLaren range, the tyres for the Sports Series have been tested continuously throughout the development programme specifically in conjunction with technical partners Pirelli. The design brief was focused on balance and agility, with a view to create a tyre with progressive levels of grip allowing the driver to explore the limits of the car with total confidence.
'We have worked closely with Pirelli throughout the programme to design a bespoke tyre to best suit the Sports Series, and it is a really important partnership. Being the only contact with the road, the tyre is critical to how the car handles and behaves, and we treat them in the same way as any key suspension component. They are specially tuned and developed with Pirelli, and that makes a huge difference to the dynamics of this car.' explains Goodwin.
The 570S Coupe is fitted with the performance focused Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres as standard, with a Pirelli P Zero™ available as a no-cost option. Tyre sizes are 225/35/R19 on the front and 285/35/R20 on the rear. The Corsa tyres have been developed with stiffer sidewalls and treads, offering outstanding grip levels, and yield advantages on a circuit and in standing-start acceleration.
The Sports Series is launched with a range of newly designed wheels. The 570S is fitted as standard with fourteen-spoke lightweight forged wheels, 19-inch at the front, and 20-inch at the rear, finished in silver. A further five-spoke, or a 10-spoke super lightweight design offering a 7kg weight saving, is available as an option. Stealth and Diamond Cut wheel finishes can also be specified
The 570S Coupe is equipped as standard with carbon ceramic discs (front: 394mm x 36mm / rear: 380mm x 34mm), with six-piston callipers on the front and four-piston callipers at the rear. Newly developed ABS software is also present, and bespoke to the Sports Series, which has been designed to optimise brake feel. This new system also reduces pulsing through the pedal.
A new ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system, developed with Bosch, includes a new 'Dynamic' mode which provides reduced intervention, to allow greater vehicle control on the limit and 'driftability'. The ESC system for the first time includes a dedicated control switch, allowing ESC control independently to the handling control dial. This allows the choice of full, dynamic or ESC-off when in Sport and Track handling modes. With an improved pump and dual valve system, the ESC system is refined and provides greater resolution and thus more progressive control.
Also new to the Sports Series is a new Performance Traction Control, which incorporates bespoke McLaren software to deliver more precise control in extreme situations. In Dynamic mode, the traction control allows a gradual transition at the point of slip (YAW angle) and therefore more confidence to explore the Sports Series at the limits of its handling.
The McLaren Sports Series features a number of Formula 1™-derived technologies, including the Brake Steer system. Initially developed by McLaren during the 1997 season, and subsequently banned due to the significant performance advantage offered, the system aids cornering by bringing the vehicle's nose into the apex by applying braking force to the inside rear wheel. This enables the driver to brake later and get on the power earlier.
The Sports Series is fitted with a newly-developed suspension system ensuring enhanced levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. The system uses independent adaptive dampers with front and rear anti-rollbars – distinct from the Super Series – and Formula 1™- style dual wishbones, with the set up.
Adaptive dampers offer control over bump and rebound settings using the familiar McLaren 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Track' handling settings, with the Sports Series having bespoke damper settings to other McLaren models to date. In 'Normal' mode, the system provides a refined yet engaging ride, while the 'Sport' and 'Track' settings allow the 570S to become more track-focused when required. Twin damper valves give precise control, while dual wishbone suspension provides optimum suspension travel and geometry.
Chris Goodwin added: 'For a sports car, it is more about the grip balance and the response of the tyres and the response of the steering. The Sport Series has narrower tyres than the models in the Super or Ultimate Series, and the car still has high enough objective performance, but it is also about the subjective feel. It is hard to measure subjective performance, but how big the smile on the drivers face is when he goes round a corner is always a good measure. We have used the suspension geometry and set-up to create a balance that makes the car really want to turn in to a corner. It feels like all you have to do is look at the apex of the corner and the car is sucked into it.'
As with every McLaren designed and developed for the road or track since 1981, the heart of the Sports Series is a lightweight carbon fibre chassis. While similar to the chassis in the Super Series, the MonoCell II is unique to the Sports Series. It has been newly designed with more of a focus on day-to-day usability, with the narrower front sill, and height reduced by 80mm to offer improved ingress and egress from the cabin. It is incredibly strong and stiff yet weighs less than 80kg, offering optimum levels of protection. As part of this development, the front and rear aluminium structures have also been revised, fine tuning load paths into the new carbon structure, accommodating the new anti-roll bar positions, and to reduce complexity and inevitably weight. Currently, the Sports Series is the only model range within the sports car segment to offer carbon fibre technology.
The carbon fibre MonoCell II is 25 percent stiffer than a comparable aluminium chassis, and has an even greater margin of superiority over steel. This structural stiffness improves handling, agility and ride comfort. It is stronger and safer in a crash, and needs no extra bracing or reinforcement (such as side intrusion beams). The carbon fibre has enough intrinsic strength without 'bolt on' safety beams. It is also more durable than metal, and its greater dimensional accuracy improves build quality.
There are also advantages in ease of repair. Front and rear aluminium extrusions and castings are designed to absorb impacts and are easily fixed. Cars with full aluminium or steel chassis use their structures to absorb and crumple on impact, causing more damage and expense to the entire structure.
McLaren is a global leader in carbon fibre technology. It introduced the first carbon Formula 1™ car (the MP4/1 of 1981) and the world's first carbon road car (the F1 of 1993). Despite the exclusive nature of the company, and its small production volumes, McLaren still makes more all-carbon chassis road cars than any other automotive manufacturer.
For the first time on a McLaren road car, the models in the Sports Series feature aluminium body panels rather than composites or carbon fibre. This change reflects the higher production volumes, with aluminium offering superior quality of finish – especially in surfacing – for larger production numbers. A typical downside is that it gives less design freedom, for complex shapes, than moulded composite or carbon fibre panels.
Utilising a new 'superform' method – in which hot aluminium can be blown into complex shapes over a mould – has allowed McLaren to produce intricate parts, most notably the large rear deck, which has also reduced weight. The aluminium body panels are no heavier than the composite panels used on the Super Series cars. Aluminium is used for the front and rear fenders, bonnet, rear deck, lower doors and roof. The upper section of the doors including the 'tendons' and the front splitter are made from composite.
The Sports Series features an evolution of the 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine, named M838TE, with 30 percent of components bespoke to the new model. Engineered by McLaren, it produces 570PS (562 bhp) at 7,400 rpm, and 600Nm (443 lb ft) of torque at 5,000-6,500 rpm. The classic mid-engine rear-wheel drive supercar configuration optimises handling and agility – except that it competes in the sports car, not the supercar, market – delivering power through a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG). Despite being one of the world's most powerful road car engines, it is also extremely efficient. A new stop-start system seen for the first time at McLaren provides greater efficiency during city driving, improving fuel consumption and CO 2 output. The 570S returns 25.5 mpg on the EU combined cycle with an improved range, while emissions are just 258g/km.
Other improvements to the efficiency of the powertrain include new 60-deg camshaft phase controllers that reduce internal engine inertia and provide greater control, both benefitting CO 2 figures and engine response. The vacuum system has also been deleted from the engine which saves 2.5kg and reduces complexity.
Sharing technology with the Super Series, the M838TE engine includes Formula 1™ technology such as dry sump lubrication – to enable higher cornering speeds without oil surge – and a flat-plane crankshaft, to allow the engine to be sited as low as possible to improve the centre of gravity and both handling and agility. ExxonMobil ensures each groundbreaking McLaren model benefits from the highest levels of technical commitment and expertise. The Sports Series joins the Super Series and Ultimate Series in being factory-filled with Mobil 1 New Life™ 0W-40. The high technology engine lubricant has an optimum combination of synthetic base oils designed to meet the high performance engine demands. The advanced formula contains additives specially developed to better protect the engine by preventing build-up on critical engine parts, allowing McLaren engines to run like new after thousands of miles, even in the harshest driving conditions.
The Sports Series is fitted with new equal length exhaust manifolds produced from cast stainless steel mounting sections mated to stainless steel hydroformed tubes. These optimise exhaust flow and provide a performance advantage in terms of consistent, uniform back pressure, while also delivering a new, distinctive crisp exhaust note.
The Sports Series uses the same seven-speed twin-clutch SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) as the 650S, and offers a 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Track' modes. The settings have been recalibrated to produce faster shifts, achieved through a number of new control strategies, focusing on the rate of engine speed transitions. New advanced throttle control during shifts ramps up or down engine speed with greater urgency.
'The sense of engagement with the car during gearshift as well as when accelerating and decelerating is key in delivering the exhilarating feel for the McLaren Sports Series,' says Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development. 'It is also key to delivering exhilaration throughout the performance envelope of the car, not just when the driver might be seeking the fastest lap time, for example.'
'Cylinder Cut' technology, first seen on the 650S for upshifts, has been further enhanced to activate on both upshifts and downshifts, now utilising the engine ignition control it can act up to 10 times faster than previously.
To provide the greatest sense of interaction and performance during all driving situations three control strategies have been developed; Powershift, GT3 Shift and 'Inertia Push'.
The Sports Series also uses the innovative 'Inertia Push' technology – again pioneered on the 650S. Available in Track mode – above 5000rpm and from 60 percent throttle input – the system harnesses the inertia of the flywheel to deliver an impulse of torque as the next gear is engaged. As on the 650S, this approach delivers the next gear before the engine speed has dropped, resulting in continual strong acceleration, with no drop in the rate of acceleration as the driver upshifts.
For the first time, the gearbox clutch control has been separated from the engine control, to enhance refinement. This helps produce quicker gear changes.
The interior of the Sports Series has been created with a focus on space and ergonomics in mind, offering great outward visibility and interior space for occupants and their belongings. Organic curves carried inside from the exterior design bring delicate tension without aggression to ensure the cabin remains a welcoming environment. Overall, the Sports Series is 11mm longer than the Super Series, and the cabin is both longer and wider, boosting all round spaciousness and increasing shoulder room. The carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis has been redesigned with a lower sill to enable easier entry and exit, and the redesigned dihedral doors further optimise access.
The A pillars have been moved further outwards, improving spaciousness and front visibility, while the B pillars are narrower to improve vision. As with other McLaren road cars, the peak of the front wheelarch is directly over the front wheel allowing the driver to position the car precisely.
The feeling of luxury and airiness is heightened by the use of a floating centre console, to add a sense of depth to the cabin. Shapes and lines seamlessly integrate from exterior to interior, and vice versa. The facia and door trim incorporate floating elements which remove mass – both visually and practically – as well as adding layered depth and integrated components such as speakers and the touchscreen IRIS system.
Stowage of everyday items within the cabin has been an important consideration; as such the design of the cabin includes concealed pockets within each of the doors, a central bin under the arm rest and a glovebox.
The seven-inch IRIS touchscreen is flush with the facia and, as first seen on the McLaren P1™, the air conditioning controls are all incorporated, reducing the amount of switchgear and controls in the cabin environment. The touchscreen also controls the standard DAB digital radio (or Sirius satellite radio in North America), as well as satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player. The IRIS system also includes the electronic owner's manual.
As with all models in the McLaren range, the touchscreen is mounted in portrait mode not landscape. This reduces width, enabling driver and passenger to sit closer together, bringing them closer to the centreline of the car to further optimise response and agility.
New seats in the Sports Series offer increased levels of support and comfort. As standard, the seats are six-way adjustable for the driver, including electric height adjustment, four-way for the passenger, and are fully upholstered in leather. Four further upholstery options are available, giving increased levels of customisation and comfort with Nappa Sport, Nappa Design, Nappa Alcantara® and 'By McLaren' specifications.
Fully electric eight-way adjustable seats with heating and memory function can be specified as an option. A comfort entry / exit feature is also available to provide the maximum amount of room to enter or exit the car, by moving the seat to its lowest and most rearward position and retracting the electric steering column.
Carbon fibre shelled racing seats, as featured in the McLaren P1™ are also available. These fixed back manually adjustable bucket seats offer significant support with a provision for harnesses to be fitted. These lightweight seats provide a substantial 15kg weight saving.
'BY McLAREN' INTERIOR CUSTOMISATION
First shown on the 675LT at the Geneva Motor Show, the 'By McLaren' designer interiors represent the pinnacle of the range of trims available. They introduce unique colours and materials which are not offered through the other optional specifications. The Sports Series offers the widest selection of 'By McLaren' designs to date, with 10 in total. Of these, five have a focus on contemporary luxury, while the other five have a more sports focus and can be specified with optional Racing Seats.
All designs have been selected by our in-house design team to accentuate the interior design while also taking into account exterior colour choice to provide the ultimate cohesive vehicle specification.
The Sport Series is fitted with a TFT LCD screen instrument cluster incorporating turn-by-turn Navigation instruction for the first time. The LCD instrument cluster is made up of three zones - the central seven-inch screen includes the vital statics of the vehicle (vehicle speed, engine speed and gear selection), while the two outer three-inch screens provide information such turn-by-turn navigation instructions / compass , track data display information (if selected) and other vehicle statistics.
Dependant on which vehicle mode selected – 'Normal', 'Sport' or 'Track – the instrument cluster prioritises information accordingly. In 'Sport' mode, gear selection information is prioritised over vehicle speed in the centre of the rev counter, with numbers becoming larger and the dial easier to read with more intense colours. When 'Track' is selected, the instrument cluster changes to provide the driver with a race car-inspired rev counter presenting just the vital information required. The left screen displays lap times (if track data display is selected), while the right hand screen monitors tyre pressures.
McLAREN TRACK TELEMETRY
The IRIS-based Track Telemetry app records lap or sector times along with accompanying vehicle information. In addition this can be optioned with three track cameras.
The track data display allows the driver to map any circuit or timed section though GPS. Sectors are then automatically defined and split times displayed to the driver along with the accompanying red and green sectors on the map. A best lap can then be used as a reference as can a different driver profile allowing two drivers to compete against each other in the same car. Graphs are provided so two laps can be compared showing, for example, vehicle speed at the exit of a corner. Using the onboard memory, track sessions can be stored and saved for a repeat session. Video footage can also be downloaded to USB via a dedicated USB socket for offline viewing.
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