Automobiles

McLaren 570S Coupe: 204 mph, cupholders included

McLaren follows up its previous powerful sports cars with the 570S Coupe, a new model meant for the daily commute as much as for the track.

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NEW YORK -- Ahead of the 2015 New York auto show, British automaker McLaren showed off its latest creation, the 570S Coupe. Although working on similar lines as its previous models -- the 570S Coupe is also a high-performance two-seater -- the company designed this new model with increased cabin space.

Mark Vinnels, McLaren executive director for product development, said that the upward-swinging doors and cabin design make the 570S Coupe easier to get into than most cars.

This "definitive sports car", as Vinnels referred to it, relies on a carbon fiber tub for the cabin with aluminum suspension members bolted on. This platform design is similar to McLaren's other models, such as the 650S and P1. Yet as the 570S Coupe was designed as part of McLaren's new Sports Series, with the intention that owners will find it comfortable to drive on a daily basis, the tub and cabin were built for spaciousness. That not only means a more narrow door sill than the 650S, but also useful interior compartments where passengers can stow phones, sunglasses and other items. And yes, that means cupholders, too.

McLaren 570S
McLaren unveieiled its latest model, the 570S Coupe, at a private event ahead of its display at the New York auto show. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Of course, any cups brought into the car better have tight caps, as McLaren didn't compromise on the 570S Coupe's performance. The "570" in its name refers to the output from its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 engine, at 570 PS, or 562 horsepower. With its weight around 3,000 pounds, the 570S Coupe can get up to 204 mph and boasts a zero to 100 kph (62 mph) time of 3.2 seconds.

Beyond sheer straight-line power, Vinnels commented on how the 570S Coupe was built to reward drivers. Although past McLaren models, especially the MP4-12C, were criticized for feeling too precise, almost digital, Vinnel said that McLaren's "experience in calibrating electronic stability control systems wasn't what it is now." In Sport mode, the 570S Coupe can hang its tail out to about 5 degrees, while Track mode lets it run out to about 15 degrees, predictable slip that an experienced driver can use to get the car through the turns. Of course, drivers can turn the stability system off entirely.

Further giving the 570S Coupe a satisfying feel, McLaren used an electro-hydraulic power steering system, with an electric motor used to keep hydraulic pressure up. Vinnels believes this system strikes the right compromise between power engine efficiency and giving the driver steering feedback. The exhaust note has also been tuned to produce an "operatic sound," according to Vinnels.

The pace of McLaren's new model launches may come as a surprise, but Vinnels says the company has product planning out to 2022, and plans a new car every year. Some of those may be variations on an existing model, but the company will continue to focus on high-performance cars in relatively small volume.