Shanghai ’15. Another new McLaren. The 540C Coupé

McLaren‘s new 540C Coupé offers a more comfort-orientated version of the 570S.

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Barely has the dust settled on the release of the McLaren 570S than the British sports car company releases another new car in its Sports Series – the McLaren 540C Coupé.

Taking up the mantle as the latest entry-level McLaren, the 540C boasts 533bhp and will hit 100kph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 320kph. So despite its lowly status on the McLaren pyramid, it’s still pretty damn speedy. The price has been set at $188,000, making it comparable to the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10. It was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show.

As with the rest of the McLaren range, the 540C Coupé has a lightweight carbon fibre chassis and plenty of race tech to make it extra speedy. The engine is the familiar 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 developing 533bhp at 7500rpm, and 398lb ft at 3500-6500rpm. It’s also fitted with stop-start technology – McLaren says this will improve efficiency and lengthen the range of the 540C, and therefore make it more suited to the typical usage of cars in this segment.

Indeed, the 540C may take the title of being the most usable McLaren to date. The carbon mono cell has been modified from other models to focus on day-to-day usability, with better access into the cabin. The dampers have also been tuned for extra comfort.

Inside, there’s more focus on space and comfort, with plenty of leather as standard and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

But fear not, despite the extra comfort it’s still all about performance. The carbonfibre and aluminium body panels keep the weight down – McLaren claims that with a dry weight of 1311kg it’s almost 150kg lighter than its closest competitor – and the power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox. It sits on Pirelli P Zero tyres and keeps the F1-derived Brake Steer system that is designed to help cornering by braking the inside rear wheel. Like its bigger siblings, it also features Normal, Sport and Track handling settings and double wishbone suspension.

Visually, the 540C has revised aerodynamics and a different wheel design, to differentiate it from the more powerful 570S.

Orders are being taken on the McLaren 540C now, with the first deliveries expected early in 2016.

Categories: Road


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