With undertones of the P1, more curviness than a 650S and slick new light detailing, the 570S is, to our eyes, not just a fine-looking car but the first regular McLaren not to suffer the ‘exactly which variant is it?’ double take that Super Series McLarens require.

The rounded, soap-barred corners make the 570S look more compact than the 650S, but it isn’t. It’s longer and taller (by whiskers) and about the same width. The changes run more deeply where you can’t see them than where you can.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
There is nothing worse than ordering the 570S in silver or grey, but saying that McLaren Orange could accurately be named Sainsbury’s Orange

In essence, there are three major distinguishing factors between Super Series McLarens and this Sports Series car (and the hatchbacked 570GT that will follow it).

Instead of composite bodywork, the 570S has an aluminium shell. Instead of the clever linked hydraulic suspension system, the 570 gets regular anti-roll bars. And there are no active aerodynamics.

Otherwise, at face value, their construction is not so dissimilar. There’s a carbonfibre tub and a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and no limited-slip differential.

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But there’s rather more to it than that. The 570S’s tub has 80mm lower sills than a 650S’s, to aid entry and egress via the dihedral-opening doors that are fast becoming a McLaren trademark.

And although the engine retains a flat-plane crank, some 30% of its internals are different from the 650S’s, with changes aimed at giving this lower-powered car a sharper throttle response than you’d expect from a car that is twin-turbocharged.

Elsewhere, the 570S is a McLaren to the core. On its centre console, the Active Dynamics panel allows you to switch between drive modes that give the adaptive dampers firmer settings, and there are double wishbones all round, standard carbon-ceramic brakes and the retention of electrohydraulic rather than fully electric power steering.

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