The 2015 Shanghai Auto Show sees McLaren take the wraps off its newest addition to their Sports Series of supercars – the second following its big brother, the 570S.
The 540C clearly takes after its siblings. There’s a very strong family resemblance throughout the range and there’s certainly no mistaking it for a car from another marque.
Powered by the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 seen in the McLaren’s higher-end cars, the 540C’s engine comes slightly detuned from the 570S to produce – surprise, surprise – 540 PS (533 bhp) and 540 Nm or torque. A seven-speed seamless shift double clutch transmission transfers that drive to the rear wheels, letting the 540C hit 100 km/h from zero in just 3.5 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 10.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 320 km/h. Strong form for the ‘baby’ of the McLaren line-up.
McLaren has also included a “subtly revised aerodynamic package” as well as reworked dampers that are more forgiving and compliant for a better daily driving experience. With its construction using copious amount of carbon fibre and aluminium, the 540C weighs in at 1,311kg which is claimed to be nearly 150 kg lighter than its nearest rival. That must certainly help with fuel economy, as even with all that performance the 540C is able to squeeze out 25.5mpg or roughly 9.22 litres per 100 km on the EU combined cycle.
The order books are open globally and McLaren promises delivery in early 2016. This is the Woking outfit’s “most attainable” model yet, with attainable being a very relative term considering the starting price of approximately RM 680,000 (without import tax and fees) or £126,000.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.