Author: Steve Allen |

The new McLaren Sports Series marks the entry into the luxury sports car market by McLaren for the first time. Race-derived technologies, supercar performance, lightweight construction – including the use of a carbon fibre chassis – recognisable design values and a comprehensive specification ensure a class-leading package that upholds all the core values of a pure McLaren.

McLaren 570GT © McLaren Automotive

McLaren 570GT © McLaren Automotive

Three derivatives across two bodystyles are available, starting with the entry-level 540C Coupé and progressing to the 570S Coupé, the most driver-focussed Sports Series of all. The 570GT offers the same staggering performance as the 570S Coupé, but places an even greater emphasis on all-round usability with additional luxury, versatility and comfort.

The Sports Series completes the three-tier McLaren model strategy alongside the Super Series and Ultimate Series, and represents the entry point to McLaren ownership. The 540S Coupé, 570S Coupé and 570GT are the most usable and attainable models ever to wear a McLaren badge, but retain the core design and dynamic focus integral to the iconic name. Weighing as little as 1,311kg[i] (2,890lbs), thanks in part to the unique lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the Sports Series is almost 150kg lighter than its closest rival. Power is provided by an evolution of the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine with 30 percent new components. This ensures electrifying performance, with the 570S Coupé boasting a class-leading power-to-weight figure of 434PS. At the same time, the interior has been specially designed with a focus on day-to-day usability, with optimised access, greater levels of stowage space and more refinement, particularly the luxurious 570GT. This model features a fixed-glass Panoramic Roof, and a side-opening Glass Hatch creates an additional 220 litres of luggage space on the leather-lined Touring Deck.

McLaren 570GT © McLaren Automotive

McLaren 570GT © McLaren Automotive

The Sports Series is a showcase of modern craftsmanship, with each model hand-finished at the state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, England. A suite of new optional content and a ‘By McLaren’ designer range of interiors highlight the levels of customisation available.

‘The Sports Series is a dramatic and beautiful sports car aimed at a new audience for McLaren,’ explains Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive. ‘It marks the first time we have competed in the sports car as opposed to the supercar market. As with all McLaren models, we have prioritised performance, driving engagement and exhilaration. It is a totally driver-focused car, with excellent ergonomics and visibility, and a class-leading driving position. The Sports Series is the most day-to-day usable, practical and attainable McLaren we’ve ever made, and the 570GT takes these attributes to a whole new level .’

Chris Goodwin, Chef Test Driver at McLaren Automotive adds: ‘For the Sports Series we wanted to offer a real sports car feel. Ultimately, it means a car that feels nimble, agile and must also possess a lightness and directness of response to a driver’s inputs. Certainly for us, a sports car really needs to engage the driver, at any speed.’

The McLaren Sports Series: The Details

The McLaren Sports Series is the third and final product family to join the recently announced three-tier model range from McLaren Automotive. The 540C Coupé, 570S Coupé and 570GT, along with a Spider variant due in 2017, mark the entry point to McLaren ownership alongside the Ultimate Series, comprising the now sold-out McLaren P1™ and McLaren P1™ GTR, and the core Super Series range, which features the 650S Coupé and Spider, and the sold-out 675LT Coupé and Spider.

The Sports Series introduces unique McLaren DNA to the sports car market. Each model has been designed and engineered by a team of experts at the iconic McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) alongside the Formula 1™ team operations, and every car is hand built in the same state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre (MPC) as the Super Series and Ultimate Series models.

As with every McLaren model designed for road or track since 1981, the Sports Series range is constructed around a lightweight carbon fibre chassis. High performance and high efficiency is also delivered through a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged V8 engine. With no compromises, the Sports Series is the perfect entry point into the world of McLaren.

Design and Aerodynamics

‘The air-piercing front bumper separates airflow into four directions, with each path being worked over, under and through the sculpted bodywork. The beautiful organic form, with features including the door tendon and flying buttress, works with the fixed rear wing to optimise aerodynamics.’ Rob Melville, Chief Designer

  • ‘Shrink wrapped’ design maximises efficiency of the airflow over, under and through the bodywork with a fixed aerodynamic package
  • Aerodynamically optimised dihedral doors feature ‘floating’ tendons to channel the flow of clean air
  • Elegant flying buttresses provide increased levels of downforce and enhanced cooling for 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé
  • 570GT receives unique aerodynamic package to complement bespoke side-opening rear Glass Hatch and classic GT lines

The Sports Series introduces the McLaren design language to the sports car segment for the first time, with taught, ‘shrink-wrapped’ body lines marking it out from the competition. Design cues and learnings from the Ultimate Series and Super Series models ensure the Sports Series looks every part a true McLaren, but with a clear identity of its own. Unique design features include the iconic dihedral doors more typically associated with supercars, while elegant flying buttresses and a concave rear window distinguish 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé models. A subtly revised aerodynamic package and a dedicated wheel design further mark out the 540C Coupé from the more powerful 570S Coupé. The 570GT, meanwhile, presents a glasshouse with clean and sleek lines leading to the rear of the car. A unique aerodynamic package has been tailored to work in harmony with the elegant silhouette of the 570GT.

The final design of the Sports Series is closely matched to the initial design sketches first proposed by Chief Designer Rob Melville and his team at the outset of the project. Clean, sweeping lines, and an uncluttered exterior have a clear focus on the way air flows over the sculpted panels, channelling air around the tightly packaged glasshouse, over and, in some areas, through the bodywork.

Dynamic styling provides eye-catching visual presence and adheres to the McLaren form-follows-function design philosophy. This approach combines fluid surfaces and strong features to deliver a final aerodynamic shape designed to optimise airflow management in, out and around the vehicle. Weight is minimised through the layering of panels, designed to float above aerodynamic surfaces along with suspended members, supporting the potency of this compact sports car.

Managing the Airflow

The front bumper design of the Sports Series models is crucial to how air interacts with the bodywork as it travels from the front to the rear. The design dictates how air is controlled before passing over, under and through the vehicle. The front bumper has a pronounced point that generates the centre of pressure, piercing air to reduce drag and forming four quadrants. The air is divided above and below the bodywork, and also to either side. The strong crease lines along the bonnet add design definition and, more importantly, aid air flow over the doors and into the side air intakes to help cool the high-temperature radiators – a principle used in Formula 1™. Aero Blades are positioned below the front bumper, angled specifically to create an area of high pressure ahead of the low-temperature radiators.

Dihedral Doors Feature ‘Floating’ Tendons

Every McLaren road car since the iconic McLaren F1 has included distinctive dihedral doors, and the Sports Series continues the design tradition. The advanced and intricate door design is inspired by those on the McLaren P1™, and features a ‘floating’ tendon that channels air into the ultra-efficient air intake. This supplements the side intakes that directly feed the HTRs (high-temperature radiators) which, in turn, allows for smaller side intakes and a reduction in drag.

Every effort has been made to optimise aerodynamic performance on the Sports Series. Even the wing-mirror arms have been designed to improve cooling efficiency by two percent. This aerodynamic gain has been achieved through minimising the cross-sectional area of the wing-mirror arms while optimising how the airflow between the vehicle and mirrors interact.

Further aerodynamic efficiency is evidenced by tyre spoilers on the leading edge of the wheel arch and side skirts running down each flank. These aerodynamic aids work in conjunction to ‘clean’ the airflow as it passes around the front wheel arches and travels rearwards.

Shrink-Wrapped Design

The ‘shrink-wrapped’ design of McLaren Sports Series carefully channels airflow over every panel. The rear of the 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé glasshouse features unique floating C-pillars, allowing air to follow the shape of the cabin, and flow beneath. The elegant flying-buttress design has been aerodynamically optimised to primarily counteract lift over the roof. The airflow channelled through the flying buttresses equalises the areas of low pressure created by the convex roof, increasing downforce. In addition, this feature also minimises drag, and increases the flow of cool, clean air over the engine bay to optimise powertrain heat management.

The sculpted rear fenders of the 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé merge to form a level rear deck, where the engine plenum is visible through open, hexagon shaped mesh vents designed to aid heat evacuation. The trailing edge of the rear deck features an integrated fixed spoiler designed for an optimised balance of drag and downforce. The surfaces leading to the trailing edge have been designed to be as streamlined as possible, ensuring clean airflow and enhanced levels of downforce.

A further distinctive feature of the 540C Coupé and 570 Coupé is a concave rear windscreen arcing between the flying buttresses. Together with new thinner B-pillars, this design ensures excellent visibility from within the cabin of the Sports Series models – something McLaren models are renowned for – especially for a mid-engined sports car where rear- and rear three-quarter vision can often be compromised.

The side-opening Glass Hatch of the 570GT creates a distinctive silhouette that tapers elegantly over the rear deck and adds a further 220 litres of luggage space. A unique aerodynamic package with an extended fixed rear spoiler – 10mm taller than that fitted to the 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé – offers the same levels of aerodynamic performance as the distinctive flying buttresses of the Coupé models in the Sports Series. Cooling outlets are seamlessly integrated into the new design, aiding heat evacuation from the engine bay.

Rear Diffuser

Airflow management is key to the Sports Series, from the front bumper through to the integrated rear spoiler. Below this sits an intricate rear diffuser, unrivalled in its class for complexity and effectiveness. Efficiency is maximised with the completely flat under-side of the Sports Series feeding clean air to the rear of the vehicle and the aggressive diffuser. As in Formula 1™, the careful management of air flowing below the car allows ‘ground effect’ aerodynamic optimisation.

LED lighting

As standard, all models in the Sports Series use LED lighting technology for both front and rear light units. The design of the front headlamps reflects the McLaren ‘Speed Mark’ logo, with LED daytime running lights (DRLs) following the edge of the unit to create a distinctive visual signature. The lights are automatically activated and include ‘Follow Me Home’ and ‘Overseas Tourist’ functions. The latter allows easy adjustment between left- and right-hand drive markets. The rear light signature incorporates the turn signal, and follows the trailing edge of the rear body panels giving the illusion that the panel is floating.


‘With a carbon fibre chassis and lightweight superformed aluminium bodywork, the Sports Series weighs as little as 1,311kg, making it more than 140kg lighter than its nearest rival.’ Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development

  • Class-leading power-to-weight figure of up to 434PS per tonne
  • Unique carbon fibre MonoCell II features a lower, narrower sill to aid cabin access; weighs 75kg
  • ‘Superformed’ aluminium body panels are used for the first time on a McLaren, allowing for more complex designs and ensuring optimised weight

The Sports Series is the only model range within the sports car segment to offer a full carbon fibre chassis. This lightweight component, and the use of aluminium for the majority of the body panels ensures that weight is kept to a minimum. The dry weight of the 570S Coupé is just 1,313kg, giving a class-leading power-to-weight figure of 434PS per tonne.


As with every McLaren designed and developed for the road or track since 1981, the heart of the Sports Series is a lightweight carbon fibre chassis. While similar to the chassis in the Super Series, the MonoCell II is unique. It has been newly designed with more of a focus on day-to-day usability, with the narrower front sill and height reduced by 80mm to offer improved ingress to and egress from the cabin. As is inherent with carbon fibre construction, the chassis is incredibly strong and stiff offering optimum levels of protection, yet weighs just 75kg.

The carbon fibre MonoCell II is 25 percent stiffer than a comparable aluminium chassis, and has an even greater margin of superiority over steel. This structural stiffness improves handling, agility and ride comfort. It is stronger and safer in a crash, and needs no extra bracing or reinforcement (such as side intrusion beams). The carbon fibre has enough intrinsic strength without ‘bolt on’ safety beams. It is also more durable than metal, and its greater dimensional accuracy improves build quality.

As part of this development, the front and rear aluminium structures have also been revised, fine tuning load paths into the new carbon structure, accommodating the new anti-roll bar positions, and reducing complexity and weight.

There are also advantages in ease of repair. Front and rear aluminium extrusions and castings are designed to absorb impacts and are easily fixed. Cars with full aluminium or steel chassis use their structures to absorb and crumple on impact, causing more damage and expense to the entire structure.


Aluminium is utilised for the majority of body panels on the Sports Series. Through a process called ‘Superform’ – where hot aluminium is blown into shape over a mould – the lightweight material can be formed into detailed design features, such as the intricate rear deck. Through this method, this component weighs the same as a composite equivalent.

The dihedral doors are produced primarily from aluminium to minimise weight and allow for the intricate aerodynamic design. The upper ‘floating’ tendon is manufactured using a resin injection process to deliver an extremely rigid yet slender component, along with a lightweight core to minimise weight. To keep the exterior surfaces clear, the door is opened using the button located on the lower edge of the tendon.


The Sports Series is offered with a distinctive range of alloy wheels, all measuring 19-inch at the front, 20-inch at the rear. A purposeful cast 10-spoke design is fitted to the 540C Coupé as standard equipment, a 14-spoke lightweight forged alloy for the 570S Coupé, and a refined 15-spoke cast design for the 570GT. Two optional forged alloy wheel designs are available across the Sports Series range. Lightweight five spoke or Super Lightweight 10 spoke designs offer a combined weight saving of 7kg and 14kg respectively.

Each design is finished in silver as standard, but can be specified with a Stealth look on all models. All forged designs can be optioned with a Diamond Cut finish.

The Drive

‘We have focused on making the Sports Series as usable as possible for all drivers, both in terms of how they’re able to access the vehicle’s full dynamic capability, and how easy it is to live with on a day-to-day basis. As a result, the Sports Series deeply involves its driver on deserted roads and race circuits, but is equally at home on the daily commute.’ Chris Goodwin, Chief Test Driver

  • Class-leading power-to-weight ratio of up to 434PS per tonne gives breathtaking performance; 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 3.2 seconds; 0-200km/h (124 mph) in 9.5 seconds for 570S Coupé
  • Performance Traction Control incorporates bespoke McLaren software to deliver more precise control in extreme situations
  • Newly developed suspension system uses adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars to ensure enhanced levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. Unique calibrations for 540C Coupé, 570S Coupé and 570GT

The Sports Series offers unrivalled performance and driving exhilaration in the sports-car class. It is the only car in its sector to offer all the credentials typically found in the top-tier supercars: lightweight carbon fibre chassis construction, mid-engine rear-wheel drive configuration. Overall performance for the 570S Coupé is class-leading with the 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint taking 3.2 seconds (570GT, 3.4 seconds; 540C Coupé, 3.5 seconds), while 200 km/h (124mph) is reached in just 9.5 seconds (570GT, 9.8 seconds; 540C Coupé, 10.5 seconds). Top speed is 328 km/h (204 mph) for 570S Coupé and 570GT models; the 540C Coupé can reach 320km/h (199mph).

A dry weight of as little as 1,311kg (2,890lbs) is almost 150kg (331lbs) lighter than the nearest rival. This low weight ensures optimised handling, agility and makes the Sports Series even more responsive.


The steering in the Sports Series has been designed and developed with refinement and feel as key parameters. A fast steering ratio allows quick changes of direction and improves ease of control when driving at the limit, which is pivotal to a great sports car. The steering ratio of the 570GT is reduced by two percent, ensuring extra stability at high cruising speed while maintaining the agility for which the Sports Series is renowned.

As with the Super Series and Ultimate Series ranges, the electro-hydraulic system used for the Sports Series ensures a natural feel that cannot be replicated with a fully electric system. The electro-hydraulic pump also powers the optional nose lift system, allowing the ride height to be increased by 4cm at speeds of up to 60km/h (37mph). A one-touch short-cut to raise the vehicle is available through the steering-column-mounted menu stalk.

Tyres Developed With Pirelli

As with the all models in the McLaren range, the tyres for the Sports Series have been developed in conjunction with technical partner Pirelli. The design brief prioritised balance and agility, as well as a progressive level of grip that allows the driver to explore the limits of the car with total confidence.

‘We have worked closely with Pirelli throughout the programme to design a bespoke tyre best suited to the Sports Series. Being the only contact with the road, the tyre is critical to how the car handles and behaves, and we treat them in the same way as any key suspension component. They are specially tuned and developed with Pirelli, and that makes a huge difference to the dynamics of this car,’ explains Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin.

The 570S Coupé is fitted with performance-focused Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres as standard, while a Pirelli P Zero™ is available as a no-cost option. 540C Coupé and 570GT models are fitted with Pirelli P Zero™ tyres as standard, while the P Zero™ Corsa tyre is optionally available. For all models, tyre sizes are 225/35/R19 front, 285/35/R20 rear.

The P Zero™ Corsa tyre has been developed with stiffer sidewalls and tread, offering outstanding grip levels, and advantages on a circuit and in standing-start acceleration. The P Zero™ option provides optimum performance levels in extreme wet and cold conditions.

Braking System

The 570S Coupé is equipped as standard with carbon-ceramic discs (front: 394mm x 36mm / rear: 380mm x 34mm), with six-piston callipers on the front and four-piston callipers at the rear. Vented iron discs are optionally available. 540C Coupé and 570GT models feature four-piston calipers all-round and vented iron discs as standard equipment (front: 370mm x 32mm / rear: 350mm x 30mm), while carbon-ceramic discs are available as an option.

Newly developed ABS software has been designed to optimise brake feel. This new system also reduces pulsing through the pedal under heavy braking. In addition, a new ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system, developed with Bosch, includes a ‘Dynamic’ mode that provides reduced intervention, to allow greater vehicle control on the limit and extra ‘driftability’. The ESC system for the first time includes a dedicated control switch, allowing ESC control to be tailored independently of the handling control dial. This allows the choice of ESC-on, Dynamic or ESC-off when in Sport and Track handling modes. With an improved pump and dual-valve system, the ESC system is refined and provides greater resolution and thus more progressive control.

Performance Traction Control is also new to the Sports Series, and incorporates bespoke McLaren software to deliver more precise control in extreme situations. In Dynamic mode, the traction control allows a gradual transition at the point of slip (YAW angle) and therefore gives drivers more confidence to explore the Sports Series at the limits of its handling.

Each of the models in the McLaren Sports Series feature a number of Formula 1™ derived technologies, including the Brake Steer system. Initially developed by McLaren during the 1997 season, and subsequently banned due to the significant performance advantage offered, the system aids cornering by bringing the nose of the vehicle into the apex by applying braking force to the inside rear wheel. This enables the driver to brake later and accelerate earlier.


All Sports Series models are fitted with a newly developed suspension system, ensuring enhanced levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. The system uses independent adaptive dampers with front and rear anti-roll bars – distinct from the Super Series and Ultimate Series – and Formula 1™ style dual wishbones.

Adaptive dampers offer control over bump and rebound settings using the familiar McLaren ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ handling settings, with all Sports Series models benefitting from bespoke damper settings tailored to individual characteristics. In ‘Normal’ mode, the system provides a refined yet engaging ride, while the ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ settings allow the Sports Series to become more track-focused when required. Twin damper valves give precise control, while dual-wishbone suspension provides optimum suspension travel and geometry.

The 570GT has been developed with a unique dynamic set-up to reflect its increased levels of luxury and refinement, while retaining supercar levels of driving engagement. Sharing the newly developed suspension system with the other models in the Sports Series, further fine tuning includes a reduction in spring rate stiffness of 15 percent at the front and 10 percent at the rear. This calibration enhances road and motorway driving, and aids ride quality over poor road surfaces.

Chris Goodwin added: ‘We believe a sports car should prioritise interaction and communication over huge amounts of downforce and fastest laps. It is impossible to quantify subjective performance, but the size of the smile on the driver’s face when they go round a corner is always a good measure. The Sports Series models have been developed with narrower tyres than Super Series models, fixed rather than active aerodynamics, and we have used the suspension geometry and setup to create a balance that makes the car really want to turn in to a corner. It feels like all you have to do is look at the apex and the car is sucked into it.’


  • 3.8-litre twin turbo V8, with 30 percent of components bespoke to the new model, produces 570PS (562bhp) and 600Nm (443 lb ft) in 570S Coupé and 570GT
  • Stop-start system fitted for the first time on a McLaren offers greater efficiency during city driving, improving fuel consumption and CO2 output
  • Optimised gear changes through seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox (SSG) with ‘Cylinder Cut’ technology

The Sports Series brings the classic mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive supercar layout to the sports car segment. Engineered by McLaren, the M838TE 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine is an evolution of the well-established McLaren-developed power unit, with 30 percent of components bespoke to the new model. It produces 570PS (562 bhp) at 7,500 rpm, and 600Nm (443 lb ft) of torque at 5,000-6,500 rpm in the case of the 570S Coupé and 570GT. The entry level 540C Coupé produces 540PS (533 bhp) at 7,500 rpm, and 540Nm (398lb ft) of torque at 3,500-6,500 rpm. All Sports Series models deliver power through a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG) as standard equipment.

Despite being one of the world’s most powerful road-car engines, the M838TE unit is also extremely efficient. The introduction of a stop-start system provides greater efficiency during city driving, optimising fuel consumption and CO2 output. All models in the Sports Series return 26.6 mpg (10.7 litres/100km) on the EU combined cycle with CO2 emissions of just 249g/km.

Other improvements to the efficiency of the powertrain include new 60-degree camshaft phase controllers that reduce internal engine inertia and provide greater control, both benefitting CO2 figures and engine response. The vacuum system has also been deleted from the engine, which saves 2.5kg and reduces complexity.

Sharing technology with the Super Series, the M838TE engine includes Formula 1™ technology such as dry-sump lubrication – to enable higher cornering speeds without oil surge – and a flat-plane crankshaft, which allows the engine to be positioned low-down for optimised handling and agility.

ExxonMobil ensures each groundbreaking McLaren model benefits from the highest levels of technical commitment and expertise. The Sports Series joins the Super Series and Ultimate Series in being factory-filled with New Life™ 0W-40 developed by McLaren Automotive technology partner Mobil 1. The high-technology engine lubricant has an optimum combination of synthetic base oils designed to meet the high performance engine demands. The advanced formula contains additives specially developed to better protect the engine by preventing build-up on critical engine parts, allowing McLaren engines to run like new after thousands of miles, even in the harshest driving conditions.

The Sports Series is fitted with new equal-length exhaust manifolds produced from cast stainless steel mounting sections mated to stainless steel hydroformed tubes. These optimise exhaust flow and provide a performance advantage in terms of consistent, uniform back pressure, while also delivering a distinctively crisp exhaust note. As standard, the 570GT features a quieter exhaust more suited to higher-speed, long-distance travel. However, an optional sports exhaust is also available across the range and is designed to create an even more engaging soundtrack.


The Sports Series uses the same seven-speed twin-clutch SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) as the Super Series, offering ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ modes. The settings have been recalibrated and are bespoke to the Sports Series to produce faster shifts, achieved through new control strategies that focus on the rate of engine speed transitions. New advanced throttle control during shifts ramps engine speed up or down with greater urgency. The gear change calibrations in the 570GT complement the more refined positioning, without detracting from the driver engagement integral to all Sport Series models.

‘The sense of engagement with the car during gearshift as well as when accelerating and decelerating is key in delivering the exhilarating feel for the McLaren Sports Series,’ says Mark Vinnels, Executive Director – Product Development. ‘It is also key to delivering exhilaration throughout the performance envelope of the car, not just when the driver might be seeking the fastest lap time, for example.’

‘Cylinder Cut’ technology, first seen on the 650S for upshifts, has been further enhanced to activate on both upshifts and downshifts. Now utilising the engine ignition control, it can act up to 10 times faster than earlier iterations. To provide the greatest sense of interaction and performance during all driving situations, three control strategies have been developed: Powershift, GT3 Shift and ‘Inertia Push’.

The Sports Series uses the innovative ‘Inertia Push’ technology – again pioneered on the 650S. Available in Track mode – above 2,500rpm and from 60 percent throttle input – the system harnesses the inertia of the flywheel to deliver an impulse of torque as the next gear is engaged. As on the 650S, this approach delivers the next gear before the engine speed has dropped, resulting in continual strong acceleration, with no drop in the rate of acceleration as the driver upshifts.

For the first time, the gearbox clutch control has been separated from the engine control. This enhances refinement and helps produce quicker gear changes.


‘As we move forward as a business we take learnings from previous projects and current products, and now moving into the sports car sector, the programme has become the most challenging to date as we push the bar of quality and performance even higher.’ Rob Raven, Quality Director

  • ‘By McLaren’ designer interiors offer the ultimate vehicle specification with a Sport or Luxury focus
  • Hand-assembled in the state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre in Surrey, England
  • Each car takes 188 man hours to build by a team of 370 highly trained assembly and quality technicians

The Sports Series represents the most attainable McLaren models to date, and the highest level of personalisation. Bespoke ‘By McLaren’ specifications offer a mix of sports or luxury finishes within the cabin in conjunction with a broad exterior colour palette. In addition to this, the widest variety of optional equipment ever offered by McLaren allows owners to individually tailor seating, interior finishes, upholstery and audio systems.


For the first time on a McLaren road car, the models in the Sports Series primarily feature aluminium body panels rather than composites or carbon fibre. This change reflects the higher production volumes of the Sports Series, with aluminium offering superior quality of finish – especially in surfacing – for larger production numbers. A typical downside is that it gives less design freedom, for complex shapes, than moulded composite or carbon fibre panels.

Utilising a new ‘Superform’ method – in which hot aluminium is blown into complex shapes over a mould – has allowed McLaren to produce intricate parts, most notably the large rear deck, which also reduces weight. Aluminium is used for the front and rear fenders, bonnet, rear deck, lower sections of the dihedral doors and roof. The upper section of the doors, including ‘tendons’ and front splitter, are made from composite.

A range of optional visual carbon fibre upgrades, echoing the lightweight chassis, are available for all Sports Series. The 540C Coupé offers the Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack 1, with side intakes and door-mirror casings in carbon fibre. Alternatively, side intakes, door-mirror casings, wheel arches, the rear deck and plenum cover and the roof can all be specified individually in carbon fibre.

570S Coupé and 570GT derivatives are offered with both the Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack 1 and Pack 2, which adds the optional finish to the Aero Blades, side skirts and diffuser. Adding further bespoke content, the MSO Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack combines a front splitter, rear bumper and rear wing in lightweight carbon fibre. All carbon fibre components are available individually, but are offered at reduced cost when specified together in the above packages.

The 570GT features a standard fixed-glass Panoramic Roof to provide a bright, open cabin with a dramatic glasshouse design running through to the large rear glass hatch. As a further option, the 570S Coupé can also be specified with a carbon fibre roof.

New Colour Palette

The Sports Series is offered with a broad selection of paint colour choices. Developed in conjunction with technical partner AkzoNobel, Sports Series customers can choose from a total of 19 colours: three Standard, eight Special and eight Elite. Among these are six newly formulated colours: Ventura Orange, Vermillion Red, Bourbon, Blade Silver, Pacific and Cobalt Violet.


The interior design of the Sports Series carries the exterior design approach through with key features including floating elements to add to the sense of depth, while organic shapes and curves bring delicate tension without aggression for a welcoming and ergonomic layout. The space has been created to ensure superb outward visibility and enhanced interior space for occupants both in terms of seating position and stowage space.

The feeling of luxury and airiness is heightened by the use of a ‘floating’ centre console, to add a sense of depth to the cabin. Shapes and lines seamlessly integrate from exterior to interior, and vice versa. The facia and door trim incorporate floating elements that remove mass – both visually and practically – as well as adding layered depth and integrated components such as the audio speakers and the touchscreen IRIS system.

Interior components and switchgear are ergonomically designed and finished to the highest standard further enhancing the feel of quality and craftsmanship throughout the cabin. Rotary switches, buttons and steering-column-mounted stalks are tactile to touch, while a seven-inch touchscreen is intuitive and the most advanced infotainment system to feature in a McLaren model to-date. The ‘floating’ screen is not connected to the lower transmission tunnel – as is the case with models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series – giving enhanced access to the stowage space and cupholders below the dashboard. It is also mounted in portrait view, rather than the more conventional landscape, bringing the occupants closer to the centreline of the car to further optimise response and agility. Air conditioning is controlled via the screen, reducing the amount of switchgear and controls in the cabin environment. The touchscreen also controls the standard DAB digital radio (or Sirius satellite radio in North America), as well as satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player. The IRIS system also includes the electronic owner’s manual.

The 570GT is fitted as standard with a fixed-glass Panoramic Roof. It provides a bright, open cabin with a dramatic glasshouse design running through to the large rear glass hatch. The roof glass is treated with 18 percent transmission tint – the same as the glass roof of the McLaren P1™ – and also features SSF (Sound & Solar Film) to absorb solar radiation while providing additional noise insulation. With the increased glass area of the 570GT, cabin temperatures are regulated and maintained by an enhanced dual-zone air-conditioning system. The system allows fully automatic and independent settings for passenger and driver. A two-stage Automatic function – ‘Auto’ and ‘Auto Lo’ – allows a desired temperature to be obtained, with the latter setting limiting the speed of the fans to minimise noise.

Lightweight noise-absorbing and -damping materials are used to line the Touring Deck and bulkhead, further enhancing the level of refinement within the cabin. 570GT owners can also specify the GT Upgrade Pack, which includes a nose lift system, rear-view camera, Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker audio system, car cover and McLaren branded floor mat set.

The interior of the Sports Series can be upholstered in a wide range of leather and Alcantara® options. A leather interior is standard on the 540C Coupé, available in Carbon Black, Saddle Tan and Scoria Grey. In addition, the 540C Coupé is available with a further four interior trim levels: Extended Leather, Nappa Sport Leather, Nappa Design Leather and Nappa Sport Alcantara®.

Extended Leather is standard on the 570S Coupé and 570GT models, available in four themes: Carbon Black, Saddle Tan, Scoria Grey and Midnight Blue. Nappa Sport Leather, Nappa Design Leather and Nappa Sport Alcantara® offer additional luxury and individualisation.

‘By McLaren’ Interior Customisation

First shown on the 675LT Coupé at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the ‘By McLaren’ designer interiors demonstrate the full breadth of interior customisation possibilities. They introduce unique colours and materials that are not offered through the other optional specifications, with up to three co-ordinated colours per design.

The Sports Series offers the widest selection of ‘By McLaren’ designs to date, with 10 in total. Of these, five have a focus on contemporary luxury, while the other five have a sportier focus and can be specified with optional Racing Seats on all derivatives. All designs have been selected by the in-house design team at McLaren Automotive to accentuate the Sports Series’ interior design while also taking into account exterior colour choice to provide the ultimate cohesive vehicle specification.


New seats in the Sports Series offer increased levels of support and comfort. As standard, 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé seats are six-way adjustable for the driver, including electric height adjustment, four-way for the passenger, and are fully upholstered in leather. Four further upholstery options are available, giving increased levels of customisation and comfort with Nappa Sport, Nappa Design, Nappa Alcantara® and ‘By McLaren’ specifications.

Fully electric eight-way adjustable seats with heating and memory function form part of the luxurious standard specification of the 570GT. A comfort entry / exit feature provides the maximum amount of room to enter or exit the car, by moving the seat to its lowest and most rearward position and retracting the electric steering column. Soft-close doors further enhance luxury and convenience. These features are optionally available as part of the Luxury Pack available to 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé customers.

Carbon fibre-shelled racing seats, as featured in the McLaren P1™, are also available across the range. These fixed-back manually adjustable bucket seats offer significant support with a provision for harnesses to be fitted. They also provide a substantial 15kg weight saving.


As with all McLaren audio systems, extensive in-cabin tuning has informed the design of the three systems offered for the Sport Series. The four-speaker system of the 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé is the lightest audio system ever fitted to a McLaren and boasts an excellent quality-to-weight ratio. Two dual-voice coil 165mm bass woofers capture mid-low frequencies while two high-performance tweeters provide additional clarity over higher frequencies. The system is powered by a 240W Class AB amplifier.

The eight-speaker McLaren Audio Plus system provides a more immersive aural experience. It is standard equipment on the 570GT and optional for other models. It adds two 100mm mid / bass drive units, and two 25mm tweeters in the rear of the cabin. The amplifier is also upgraded to a 320W Class AB rating. The addition of the 100mm units adds to the clarity and depth of the sound, while the extra tweeters balance the sound to ensure the occupants have a greater sense of immersion.

A range-topping 12-speaker system is available for all models. Developed in conjunction with British audio-specialists Bowers & Wilkins, the 1280W system delivers cutting edge audio technology for unparalleled clarity and performance. Of particular note, McLaren and Bowers & Wilkins have derived the high-frequency driver design from the flagship Nautilus model. Each of the system’s five tweeters features a spiral diffuser that soaks up reflected sound waves from the rear of the drive unit, and helps produce a sound that’s superbly detailed, unadulterated and free from colouration. Furthermore, one of the tweeters is strikingly integrated into the centre of the dashboard. This ‘tweeter-on-top’ design is a key feature of Bowers & Wilkins high-end loudspeaker ranges, and results in remarkably open sound imaging and stereo performance.

This audio-critical placement is mirrored in all other drive units. To ensure a coherent, immersive audio experience, all are placed in the optimal position, minimising sound reflections and optimising acoustic performance.

Materials have also been carefully selected: the Kevlar® mid-range speaker cones guarantee constant dispersion across the frequency range, while the lightweight subwoofers are extremely stiff for perfect pistonic behaviour, ensuring completely undistorted bass.

The system comprises five 25mm aluminium Nautilus tweeters, five 100mm Kevlar® mid-range drive units and two 200mm carbon fibre Rohacell bass subwoofers. All speakers are driven by a fully digital 14-channel 1280W Class D amplifier. The result is a system that is perfectly configured for the specific environment of the Sport Series.

Hand Assembly

All Sports Series models are hand-assembled in the same state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, England as the Super Series and Ultimate Series. This guarantees the highest levels of quality, matching the exacting standards befitting any model wearing the McLaren badge.

Each model takes a total of 188 man hours to build, with a skilled team of 370 production and quality technicians working across key areas including Body Assembly, Paint, General Assembly, End of Line and Quality Control.

Stage 1: Body Assembly

Every Sports Series model passes through 10 body assembly fixtures as the fully aluminium body is built around the lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis.

The body is assembled primarily using a two-part structural adhesive system alongside self-piercing rivets, and body-assembly fixtures provide a high level of accuracy and repeatability throughout the process. A ceramic heater system aids adhesive cure time.

Stage 2: Painting

All McLaren models are hand-painted to ensure the best colour match and quality, and the Sports Series is no exception. A bespoke paint fixture system is employed for the Sports Series, which allows all body panels to be painted in a single process within the state-of-the-art paintshop at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC). This facility runs on an automated conveyor system.

Stage 3: Trim Assembly

The Sports Series production line follows the same production process as the Super Series models through 34 trim and final assembly stages.

Each vehicle moves from a bare MonoCell II to a rolling chassis during the first half of its time on the assembly line, with processes including subframe and power unit docking, through to interior trim fit. The carbon-ceramic brakes and suspension system is fully assembled, and each vehicle is passed through fluid-fill and initial vehicle run-up validation processes.

During the second half of the assembly process, the outer body begins to take shape. Processes include door fitment, front-end assembly (including wings, bonnet and headlamps) and rear-end completion (including side panels, rear deck and rear lamps). Each stage of assembly is completed to pre-defined quality fit-and-finish targets.

Finally, bumpers and the vehicle underfloor are assembled, before the car is removed from its assembly staple and lowered onto its wheels.

Stage 4: Final Assembly

A rigorous process ensures each and every vehicle is delivered to the very highest standards for which McLaren is renowned. Key quality checkpoints adhere to a ‘no fault forward’ approach throughout the production stages, and are carried out at the following production milestones:

  • Body Assembly main line completion quality inspection
  • CMM (Coordinate Measurement Machine) dimensional validation
  • Paint completion quality inspection
  • Powertrain installation and full engine-bay inspection
  • Assembly completion quality inspection
  • Monsoon Test and Rolling Road
  • A full road shakedown process testing the full capability of the vehicle alongside McLaren’s exacting drive and comfort standards
  • McLaren Production Audit prior to dispatch

Everyday Usability

‘All McLaren models are genuinely usable daily drivers, but the Sports Series takes it to a new level. Enhanced usability is something the engineering team has focused on, particularly in the areas of refinement, comfort, stowage space and visibility. Other factors have also been key with a focus on maintenance and whole-life costs – all of which make the Sports Series a true contender in the sports car market.’ Jolyon Nash – Executive Director, Global Sales & Marketing

  • Longer and wider cabin boosts all-round space for the most accommodating driver environment
  • Visibility is further enhanced as the A-pillars are moved further outwards and the B-pillars are narrower
  • Class-leading luggage space with optimised cabin stowage
  • Unique calibration and set-up offers a more usable sportscar, suited to daily driving
  • Sports Series offers the lowest running costs of any McLaren to date
  • 570GT adds yet more versatility with 370 litres of combined luggage space, side-opening Glass Hatch and full suite of comfort and convenience features

The Sports Series is the most usable McLaren model to-date, with enhanced levels of refinement and comfort, the most welcoming and accommodating interior space, and the largest amount of storage space. The total cost of ownership, including servicing schedules and maintenance, is a key part of the overall class-leading Sports Series offering.


The design and layout of the Sports Series interior has a clear focus on space and ergonomics, offering maximised outward visibility and interior space. Overall, the Sports Series is 11mm longer than the Super Series, and the cabin is both longer and wider, boosting all round spaciousness and increasing shoulder room.

In true McLaren style, the newly designed dihedral doors have been developed to offer a greater operating range. A revised action, which follows a more upwards and forwards arc, allows easier access to the cabin with a larger aperture opening. A revised design to the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis sees a lower sill – 80mm lower than the Super Series models – ensuring ingress to and egress from the cabin is now even easier.

As standard, the 570GT – with an even greater focus on comfort and usability – features extended leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated seats with memory function, front and rear parking sensors, an electric steering column with easy entry / exit function, soft-close doors and a quieter exhaust system. Lightweight noise absorbing and damping materials are used to line the Touring Deck and bulkhead, further enhancing the level of refinement within the cabin.


Key design features of the Sports Series, as with all McLaren models, are the low windscreen cowl and the shape of the front wings with forward visibility optimised. The peak of the front wheelarch is directly over the centrepoint of the front wheel allowing the driver to place the car with ultimate precision.

Spaciousness in the cabin and visibility is further enhanced as the A pillars are moved further outwards and the B-pillars are narrower.


The practical nature of the Sports Series lends itself to more regular use, as is common practice with models in the sports-car segment. A class-leading level of storage space is offered by the front luggage bay, while stowage of everyday items within the cabin has been an important consideration. As a result, the design of the cabin includes concealed pockets within each of the doors, a central storage area beneath the arm rest and a glovebox (in non-Federal markets).

The front luggage bay has a capacity of 150 litres, while smaller items can be stored in the various storage areas and pockets throughout the interior. Increasing practicality still further, the 570GT adds an extra 220 litres of luggage space beneath the bespoke Glass Hatch on the leather-lined Touring Deck. For maximum convenience, the Glass Hatch opens on the kerbside for both left- and right-hand drive models and is framed by carbon fibre to provide significant torsional rigidity.

Control Interface & Infotainment

The control interface for the air conditioning, telephony, navigation and audio systems are managed through the centrally mounted touchscreen, while the vehicle set-up menu can be viewed on TFT LCD screen instrument cluster. Information and settings are controlled via steering-column-mounted stalks.

The LCD instrument cluster is made up of three zones: the central seven-inch screen includes the vital statics of the vehicle (vehicle speed, engine speed and gear selection), while the two outer three-inch screens provide information including navigation instructions, compass, track data display information (if selected) and other vehicle statistics. The Sports Series instrument cluster also incorporates turn-by-turn navigation instruction for the first time.

Dependant on which vehicle mode is selected – ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Track’ – the instrument cluster prioritises information accordingly. In ‘Sport’ mode, gear selection information is prioritised over vehicle speed in the centre of the rev counter, with numbers becoming larger and the dial easier to read with more intense colours. When ‘Track’ is selected, the instrument cluster changes to provide the driver with a race car-inspired rev counter presenting just the vital information required. The left screen displays lap times (if track data display is selected), while the right-hand screen monitors tyre pressures.

The seven-inch IRIS touchscreen is flush with the facia and, as first seen on the McLaren P1™, integrates air-conditioning controls to simplify controls and reduce weight. The touchscreen also controls the standard DAB digital radio (or Sirius satellite radio in North America), as well as satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player. The IRIS system also includes the electronic owner manual.

As with all models in the McLaren range, the touchscreen is mounted in portrait mode, not landscape. This reduces width, enabling driver and passenger to sit closer together, bringing them nearer to the centreline of the car to further optimise response and agility.

Dual-zone climate control and air conditioning is installed as standard, with the system allowing fully automatic and independent settings for passenger and driver. A two-stage Automatic function – ‘Auto’ and ‘Auto Lo’ – allows a desired temperature to be obtained, with the latter setting limiting speed of the fans to minimise fan noise within the cabin. The climate control for the 570GT is enhanced to take account of the increased glass area created by its standard Fixed-Glass Panoramic Roof and Glass Hatch.

Despite the extensive specification list, weight-saving remains a key focus. The McLaren Audio four-speaker stereo system, for instance, ensures the optimal sound quality at the lowest possible weight for 540C Coupé and 570S Coupé derivatives. A McLaren Audio Plus 8-Speaker Upgrade System – standard for 570GT – and bespoke 12-Speaker Premium Audio System, developed with British audio specialists Bowers & Wilkins, with 1280W surround-sound upgrade are also available for the ultimate audio experience.

McLaren Track Telemetry

The IRIS-based Track Telemetry app records lap or sector times along with accompanying vehicle information. In addition this can be optioned with three track cameras.

The track data display allows the driver to map any circuit or timed section though GPS. Sectors are then automatically defined and split times displayed to the driver along with the accompanying red and green sectors on the map. A best lap can then be used as a reference as can a different driver profile allowing two drivers to compete against each other in the same car. Graphs are provided so two laps can be compared showing, for example, vehicle speed at the exit of a corner. Using the onboard memory, track sessions can be stored and saved for a repeat session. Video footage can also be downloaded to USB via a dedicated USB socket for offline viewing.

Whole Life Costs

With the launch of the Sports Series, McLaren has launched its most attainable model to-date with a starting price of £126,000 for the 540C Coupé, £143,250 for the 570S Coupé and £154,000 for the 570GT. Minimising overall cost of ownership and servicing has been a key priority, and the Sports Series delivers the lowest running costs of any McLaren to date. The highly efficient powertrain, with low weight 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine returns 26.6 mpg (10.7 l/100km) on the EU combined cycle, with emissions of just 249 g/km. As with all McLaren models, these figures ensure the Sports Series range is exempt from the gas-guzzler tax in North America. The engine’s unique calibration and set-up creates a more usable sports car with more of a focus on road driving, and an extended fuel range of around 10 percent more than 650S models.

As with all McLaren models, the Sports Series has an annual service schedule to ensure it is continually updated with the latest software developments and improvements. These scheduled services incur the lowest labour and parts costs of any McLaren to date, reducing costs by more than 50 compared with the 2011 McLaren 12C. Engine oil replacement intervals are every two years / 15,000km, whichever comes first.

Aluminium is used extensively for body panels, not the composite materials employed on the Super and Ultimate Series. As a result, repair costs are lower.