The McLaren 540C Coupe Is an Awesome $165,000 Entry-Level Sports Car

  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
    The McLaren 540C Coupe Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Photo by Oli Tennent
  • Lindsay Bjerregaard

McLaren hopes to appeal to a broader market with its brand-new 540C coupe, calling it the company’s most attainable car yet. The second model in the McLaren Sport Series (following the McLaren 570S) has been engineered for both road and track driving. The lightweight carbon-fiber tub and chassis make the 540C almost 330 pounds lighter than its closest market competitor, and its additional aerodynamic styling helps it achieve a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.4 seconds. The 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine generates 533 hp, yet the car’s stop-start technology improves fuel efficiency.

Enhancing performance even further are Pirelli P Zero tires specifically designed for McLaren’s Sport Series, a Formula 1–derived Brake Steer system to help with cornering, and a newly developed suspension with front and rear anti-roll bars. Drivers can switch between normal, sport, and track modes to customize control and ride quality.

The sleek aerodynamic styling does not come at the expense of everyday usability, as the chassis and dihedral doors are designed to make it easier to get in and out of the car. The cabin features standard leather upholstery on the seats, dashboard, and doors, as well as a floating center console with a 7-inch touchscreen.

The 540C will start from $165,000, with delivery in select global markets beginning in 2016, but the car is not currently available for order in North America. (cars.mclaren.com)

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