McLaren 570S Review with Xtreme Xperience

Mclaren 570s Review

Just a few months after our last track day with Xtreme Xperience, we heard they were coming back to Hallett Motor Raceway with a new car.  We were in just to hang out with the great people behind XXperience, and watch supercars being thrashed around the technical track, but when we heard it was the McLaren 570S, we had to get some seat time.

First, a brief overview for our first time readers. Xtreme Xperience tours the country, bringing their collection of supercars to real race tracks that are near you. For less than one car payment on some horrible beater that you don’t want to drive, you get seat time and professional instruction from a pro, and thrash a six-figure supercar on a racetrack.  Want to drive a Huracán?  We did. How about a beastly Z06? Or is a 911 GT3 more your style?  Been there, and heard that wonderful noise.  Xtreme Xperience offers “bucket list” experiences to gear heads, and their new McLaren is a perfect fit, and a unique take on the modern supercar.


The Car

Built in picturesque Woking, England, the 570 is a different path for McLaren.  The bespoke British supercar company finally released the successor to their legendary F1, with the incredible 2014 McLaren P1 hybrid hypercar.  That was a 900+ hp monster of very limited numbers. The 570S is on the opposite end of the lineup as an entry level model, but that’s not a complaint.  Think of it like the entry level Rolex; it’s still a damn nice watch, right?  The 570 sports the design language and significant horsepower of the other McLaren supercars.

As the intro model, the 570 is designed to meet the needs of everyone, not just the drivers that are track focused.  McLaren says the 570 is street friendly, and livable in everyday situations, including city traffic and weekend getaways.  570GT goes a step further and adds extra comfort, convenience, and luxury features. Think of it as a British Audi R8.  The 570S – predictably for “sport” – offers less options, but also less weight than the GT, and it’s slightly quicker as a result.

Like the high-end P1, the 570 has a carbon fiber chassis.  Unlike the P1, the 570’s body panels are mostly aluminum, and the active aero has been pulled to meet the price point.  Even with the cost cutting, it still weighs in at a very respectable 3,200 lbs, which is equivalent to the tiny Lotus Evora S.  The twin turbo 3.8L V8 is small but mighty, and makes 562 horsepower (twice the hp of the Evora!) and 443 lb/ft of torque.  Acceleration is properly quick, with 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds, and the quarter mile right at 11 seconds.  Either version tops out at just over 200 mph.  We won’t be going that fast today though.


The Experience

After the morning driver’s meeting, we descended to the track-side pits for gear up.  The supercars were waiting, and the 570 immediately stood out from the pack.  Vermillion red with large dark palladium accents, the look is uniquely McLaren.  The doors are unlike any other manufacturer in production, with massive scoops cut into the exterior, directly leading to large rear air intakes for the rear/mid mounted engine.  The dihedral doors look amazing while up, and offer plenty of room for ingress.  Oddly, the low roofline makes entry awkward for taller drivers, especially in a helmet.

McLaren got the interior right, as the seats are plenty supportive, and likely comfy enough for extended drives.  I’d rock them in my daily driver, and they look good too.  The interior goes with a Tesla-like theme of contrasting dark over light, long swoopy lines, and a large center display.  It’s not a bad look, and certainly more conservative than what you would find in an entry Lamborghini.  The gauge cluster is intuitive at first glance, and just a minute in the driver’s seat builds familiarity and confidence.

Xtreme properly warms up all their cars beforehand, so our 570S is immediately ready to go.  Throttle response is excellent, and the exhaust note is just right as we slowly accelerate out of the pits.  A word about that sound: it is different.  It’s not as aggressive as the Huracán, and not as loud as the Ferrari 458 that was also on track that day.  It’s more of a high-end Jaguar snarl, but in a slightly different key.

There is no turbo lag in modern performance cars, but you can feel the boost pressure come on around 40 mph or so.  Acceleration goes from “Not bad,” to “Wow, nice!” very quickly.  Under heavy throttle there’s a tidal wave of sound right behind you.  The 7-speed dual-clutch shifts impossibly quick, and just might be the best we’ve ever encountered.

The 570 has received some complaints in the handling department, as McLaren removed some of the electronic assistance gadgets compared to the 650S model.  However, we didn’t see anything to complain about.  The steering is sharp, and the heft is just right.  Hallett is a technical track with progressive, blind, and hairpin corners, and the 570S stayed flat and planted through all of them.  We even played with it a bit, giving more throttle through some corners than it should have liked, but the tires never whined, and the 570S never gave any indication of reaching its limit.  It’s probably just a way more competent system than we are competent drivers.

In a way, the McLaren 570S can be summarized as a British version of the Corvette ZR1.  Bear with me here.  The 570S is limited edition and exclusive, and of course terrifically powerful.  It can handle and stop with the best vehicles on the road.  That said, it’s also livable. It doesn’t want to kill you, like an old 911 or first gen Viper, but instead wants to enjoy tearing up that back country road.  And then head into town for some groceries (or find some hotties to impress).  It may look and perform like the 1%, but it’s livable for the 99%.  That’s bloody impressive, mate.

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