The 2016 McLaren 540C

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Good news for every high-performance supercar enthusiast with a tight budget. The prestigious Britain car maker, McLaren has revealed its new release at the Shanghai Auto Show. Now instead of delivering a high-end performance supercar, McLaren offers an entry-level. This is the second release in the Sports Series, the 540C. The mentioned category debuted back then at the 2015 New York Auto Show with the 2016 570C.

The idea is to deliver a cheaper option for a supercar to the customers. Even the “cheaper” option is still unaffordable for most of us, plus, the 540C will be sold only with a special order. Also, a more comfortable ride and an adequate car for a proper daily use are the main plans for it. The core of the 540C is similar to the 570S’s chassis, delivering a MonoCell II built with carbon fiber. In its build, McLaren has said that the result will offer a car with thrilling drive and a daily-use approach.

The price is kind of fair, given the fact that it inherits performance-aiding technologies from expensive siblings. A really good feature that is also present in the 540C and pricier models is a system that brakes conveniently the rear wheels to enhance the handling around corners.

Let’s review this incredible car.

Powertrain and Performance

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McLaren used the awarded twin-turbo 3.8 L V8 engine producing an aggressive amount of 533 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque around 3500-6500 rpm. It is capable of going from standstill to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, 0.3 seconds slower than the 570S, but it is an incredible performance anyways. The top speed goes up to 199 mph, failing in the incorporation of the “200 mph’s segment”. Paired with a seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox, you can select Auto mode for a comfortable drive, or you can use the steering-wheel-mounted rocker-shift paddles for manual gearing.

The 540C McLaren Coupe uses superimposed double triangles and independent adaptive dampers. Dampers are tuned to offer a comfortable daily drive in a highway, but the variable and adaptive system allows to quickly change the response on them. Three dampers function are available: Normal, Sport, and Track.

Design Line and Interior

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Aerodynamically, the 2016 540C is a masterpiece. Is not that different from the 570S. They are almost exactly the same between them with some evident touches. It has a P1 style front fascia and the McLaren’s dihedral doors with floating tendons. The rear fascia is as astonishing as every single actual model of the maker, with incredible, rich curves in the bumper and large taillights. The silhouette of the car is incredibly sexy with a gravity center pretty low on the floor and with side panels that can drive crazy anyone. The 19-inch wheels in the front and 20-inch in the rear fit incredible with the aesthetics of the car, delivering a true athletic and sporty look. The front fascia is amazing but the rear is even better. The black diffuser and the stop lights are futuristic and sharp, and the overall design is intimidating to look. The exhaust outlets fit heavenly.

The cockpit is plagued with luxury features and plenty of room, including standard leather upholstery for the seats, dashboard, and door panels. An infotainment system arises from the center console with a seven-inch touchscreen, with navigation and connectivity.

The Bottom Line

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McLaren gave us a cheaper alternative to joining the supercar family. The model has impressive performance and mechanicals aspects. The exterior is sexy and audacious, and the interior gives you a lot of room, with plenty of features that make you feel in a premium luxury sports car.

Starting price at US$160.000.

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