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Car reviews - McLaren - 540C - Sport Series Coupe

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Entry 540C attempts to play off its own 570S sibling in McLaren showrooms

McLaren logo23 May 2018

IF THE forthcoming Senna and as-yet unnamed BP23 hypercar duo are the Big Macs of this world, then the McLaren 540C continues to be the Junior Burger.
 
For the last three years it has formed the entry point to British supercar ownership, its digits representing the European power figure that locally translates to a heady 397kW from a detuned 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine. Detuned? Well, the next-step-up 570S makes 419kW, in addition to slashing two-tenths off this 540C’s rather speedy 3.5-second 0-100km/h claim.
 
McLaren claims that several buyers simply step right up in the range, from $350K to $400K plus on-road costs. But is that really the smart thing to do? At a recent drive day in Sydney, we had the opportunity to sample the 540C back-to-back with the 570S (in drop-top Spider form) to find out.
 
With local sales having doubled in two years, and new competitors having flooded the market – such as the updated Jaguar F-Type SVR, Mercedes-AMG GT S and Porsche 911 GT3, as well as the new Audi R8 RWS – it was also arguably a fine time to return to the Mac in entry-level form.

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Model release date: 1 April 2015

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