The new 570S was the most exciting sight of a day filled with exotic cars from XtremeXperience. This team travels all over the midwest and east coast of the US making dreams come true with their supercar fleet.
So getting fixated on one is not required, especially with their three-car drive special at discounted rates.
But fixated, we were. This 570S is all-new and the cheapest car McLaren has ever made.
Yet skim the brochure and their is little to knock the kid brother down from its P1 and 650S siblings.
Similar carbon-fiber chassis tub, similar lightweight bodywork and a similar 3.8-liter V8TT out back.
A clear recipe for greatness!
And, we whisper to you as a sidebar, the first-ever McLaren this author has ever driven. Ever!
HOW WAS THE 570S!?
Superb. Sublime. Surreal and unforgettable!
This 570S was the last of the day for me at Atlanta Motorsports Park. After the 458 Italia, and the Lambo Huracan, the McLaren was a real breath of fresh air. The cabin and drive position are instantly quite immersive, even with the tricky-to-find fore/after power controls hiding under right hip. And my hips being too wide, in general, for the seat. I didn't really fit or sink down into the race-drive position. Must remove wallet and/or lose much weight before next laps!?
But the ingress and egress in the McLaren is actually much easier on those birthing hips of mine than the Lambo or Ferrari. All thanks to upward-rising swan doors that both other exotics lack. The sill is still enormous versus a normal car, but is shallower and easier to vault over than the 650S or the P1, which sits its two occupants far too close to one-another. The 570S also feels narrow inside, but not in an awkward way.
We found our helmeted head hitting the roll bar of the McLaren's roof much less frequently than in the Ferrari or Lambo, too. Setting off, the procedures are not easy at first. The hidden door handle has a button to press and open those swans wide, but it is slow. You dab the button and wait for the latch to open and the window to motor down a tiny bit on the frameless portal.
On startup, at least on this rainy day, the McLaren sounded the quietest and meekest of the trio. Same goes on track, where this car was seriously silent. Most of the time.
A horrible, horrible screeching sound from the HVAC system was permanent in our lap -- until the system was shut off entirely. Not great, as then the screen fogs up.
Around corners, however, this car came to brilliant life.
So balanced, so light all around. Yet also so, so strong with not an ounce of chassis flex! So delicate, we kept thinking.
Light on traction, especially.
A rare chance to dab the throttle past about 40-percent of its travel finally woke up the 562HP out back for a rocket like, lagfree burst of power up the hills AMP course's back corners.
Brakes took a deep, deep shove to activate, while the McLaren was too new a sensation all around to push it (at all) in these conditions.
HOW WAS XtremeXperience?
We did not love this drive, in truth. Again, it was pouring rain the entire time. We left very wet and overstimulated, yet under-amazed.
Like seeing just the first seven minutes of an Oscar-winning film. And then being expected to love it as much as everyone else does. But perhaps we would if we saw the whole movie, we might realize why everyone loves it.
The 570S's looks and the cabin were extremely fresh, and the car's ultra-exotic appeal was clear even in this lineup of GT3s and GT-Rs.
That may be the most memorable element of the drive, actually. A unique take on lightweight, mid-engine exotics that is totally unlike Ferrari and Lamborghini's offerings to the same client list.
In the rain, however, this first-ever McLaren drive was very light on thrills and heavy on chills. The fines for going off the track are steep. And the co-driver - however friendly or skilled - is honestly as unwelcome as the rainclouds above for evaluating a supercar.
Beggars, as they say, can't be choosers. And that certainly applies here. No one else is or was willing to let anybody with $400 out on a track in a supercar. So in that respect, it was a win. But tracks, supercars and rain just do not mix well.
Save $50 on your supercar track drive by using discount code CRDXX50 when booking online at xxspeed.com.
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2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - XtremeXperience