2015 New York Auto Show: McLaren unveils its 570S Coupe

McLaren's more affordable 570S could sell for as little as $175,000

McLaren Automotive is going down-market.

The race car company has unveiled the first in a promised series of more affordable Sport Series road cars -- the McLaren 570S Coupe.

The low-slung, lightweight, gull-wing two-door hardtop will be powered by a turbocharged, 3.8-liter, V-8 engine producing 562 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, off a total dry weight of only 2,895 pounds.

It's fast -- going zero to 62 mph (or 100 kilometers per hour) in 3.2 seconds, getting to 124 mph in 9.5 seconds, and ultimately achieving a top speed of 204 mph.

The rear-wheel-drive rocket has yet to be priced, but will sell for an estimated $175,000 to $185,000.

That's well below what McLaren gets for its Ultimate Series P1 supercar, which goes for $1.15 million, or its Super Series 650S, which fetches $265,000.

In sliding down the MSRP scale, McLaren is doing what Maserati, Aston-Martin and other exclusive car companies have done -- created a high-end, exotic road car with race track performance in a more accessible price range.

The 570S is expected to appeal to a car fancier who might otherwise be attracted to a higher-end Porsche 911.

It's just the first, too. McLaren will offer an even more affordable 540C in the future, the company said. The 540C will also be powered by a 3.8-liter V-8 engine but will lack some of the 570S' performance features.

McLaren sold about 1,600 650S coupes and convertibles globally last year, the company said. The 570S and 540C, if popular, could push McLaren to a production capacity of 4,300 a year -- all that its Woking, England, factory can produce.

The company needs new customers more, perhaps, than some of its more familiar rivals. Unlike Maserati, Ferrari or Lamborghini, McClaren is a stand-alone outfit, with no parent company covering its 1,000-employee payroll or underwriting its racing efforts.

"This means volume for us, and more long term profitability," said the company's senior public relations manager, JP Canton. "The company is already profitable, but we have to be profitable. We don't have a corporate overlord."

Twitter: @misterfleming


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