The number of the new ‘baby’ McLaren is…570S.
That is what the badge will say on the back of the Woking-based firm’s New York Show star for next week, first of McLaren’s new entry-level Sports Series models.
That is how much power (in PS or hp) the familiar twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 will put out in this mid-engined 911 Turbo/Merc GT S rival. So 562 in proper brake horsepower.
By plumping for 562 geegees the McLaren 570S will outgun the 911 Turbo S by 10bhp. Will it matter though, that in the mid-engined stakes, the new Audi R8 V10 Plus has another 30 horsepower? And, at £137,500, the top R8 is bang on where it is suggested the new Macca will start?
Perhaps the biggest surprise today is the single shot of the new car, released ahead of its NY debut next Tuesday. The rear-three quarter design definitely has a Gothic touch…
Fans of the flying buttress rejoice! True the arches here are rather more stylish and subtle than they are on, say, a Jag XJS. And McLaren say their purpose is chiefly aerodynamic; apparently the way McLaren do buttresses increases downforce. But buttresses they be and here at GRR we reckon that’s a welcome return to a much-loved supercar design cue of old.
Handily they will also provide a quick way of telling the 570S – plus the other lesser- and greater-numbered versions still to be confirmed – from the existing McLaren line-up.
We will know for sure next week but, buttresses aside, do not expect the 570S to look that different from the 650S on which it is based (it even stays with the same carbon-fibre tub – which is something of a claim to fame for a sports car at around £135,000).
Other Sports Series models? A less powerful (525?) and more comfort-orientated C (for Club) model are likely alongside the 570S (for Sport). And a more practical touring (or Longtail?) version would be a neat idea. A convertible is a cert too.
All together the Sports Series models represent a big moment in McLaren Automotive’s development. Destined to be Woking’s biggest selling cars, they complete the three-tier model line-up that has always been central to Ron Dennis’s supercar plan.
So if you walk into a McLaren showroom and the salesman asks, Sports, Super or Ultimate sir? You will know what he is going on about.
And if he also mentions flying buttresses…well, just put Durham Cathedral out of your mind.