What it's Like to Drive a McLaren 570S
McLaren’s entry level supercar is known to be, well, not so “entry level”. It was advertised to hit 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, but in reality it was more like 2.8. Its got 562 horsepower coming from a rear mounted 3.8 liter twin turbo V8, and tires that stick literally like glue. To put it into understandable terms, the 570S moves like a rocketship, looks like an alien, and handles pretty much any turn. Tap the gas and before you know it, you’re already going 100 miles an hour.
This past May, my Dad and I attended a carshow in our area where we happened to come across a gorgeous white on red 570S. My Dad, intrigued by the car’s captivating presence, started to ask the owner all about it. He said the car was like nothing he’d owned before. It was a race car built for the road and nothing could beat it. The first time he took one for a test drive, he literally almost blacked out from the force of the acceleration. Well doesn’t that sound like fun! Fast forward a week, and somehow, the Maserati GranTurismo Sport that sat in the garage for maybe all of a year, disappeared, and was replaced by a gorgeous McLaren 570S. Now when I say this car is gorgeous, I mean it dropped my mouth and made me take a double take. It’s specced out in Abyss Black (black with blue metal flake), black interior, and some gorgeous diamond cut rims. It could very well be the perfectly specced 570S.
Skip another month or two, and we’re finally about two months into ownership. I’d been driving for just over a year, and was pretty comfortable with it. Granted, the only cars I’d driven up to that point were my Volvo S60, an Audi Q7, and a Porsche Macan S. My Dad and I were coming home from a Caffeine and Carburetors when he pulled over into a church parking lot, and asked if I wanted to drive. My first reaction was total confusion, followed by total fear of spinning out and crashing, and finished off with total excitement. How could you not say yes? I popped open the butterfly door, walked around the front, and took a seat on the throne. I knew I was ready for this.
We started off simple. Do two laps around the church, hit the brakes, parallel park, and then we’re off. Once finishing my tasks, I was off to downtown Ridgefield Connecticut. It was an easy but nerve racking drive. Avoid potholes, look out for pedestrians, scan the road for debris, get the car home safe. Miraculously, I managed to get the car home. However, in a car that is built as lightly as possible, and as intuitive as it can be, there’s a lot missing from a normal car. Things like normal doors are too heavy, so butterfly doors were used to shed some weight. That’s reasonable. Carbon fiber was used anywhere it could to shed more weight. Again, reasonable for a supercar. There is no “park” gear, you simply put the car in neutral and apply the E-Brake. I suppose that’s understandable. It’s just a little tedious.
After driving the car a few more times, my Dad decided to let me take it down Route 7 and back. For those who don’t know, Route 7 is a fairly straight road that connects with I84, and depending on the time and day, can be super busy or totally empty. Luckily, it was pretty much empty, well, except for one car. Now, I’m a safe driver. I follow all the rules, obey the laws, and stay as safe as possible. However, when you’re driving a 562 horsepower monster and there’s a group of teens in a Jeep next to you at a stop light nagging you on, there’s a few things you can do. You can take the highroad and drive reasonably with them because you’re nice; you can dust them off the line and be gone in the blink of an eye; or you can give them a head start and then reel them in like a fish on a line. I’m not saying my Dad told me to go with either options 2 or 3, but there’s no way either him or I was going to allow a Jeep to win over a McLaren. I hit the gas, brought it up to a very reasonable speed, and before I could even comprehend what I just did or what happened, there were probably three or four football fields between us. The car accelerated so quickly I actually almost blacked out. It was so unexpected. The car throws your head back, slams your stomach into the seat, and propels itself forward at a rate I was not ready for. Oh, yeah, and we never saw those kids in the Jeep after that.
So, to summarize the McLaren 570S: it’s crazy. McLaren may advertise it as “entry level”, but it is anything but. I’m honestly convinced they harnessed the power of a devil, and turned it into a car. It is beyond any other supercar.