The most attainable McLaren yet, the 540C Coupé joins the recently-revealed 570S Coupé in the Sports Series as the brand brings its race derived DNA to a new audience and segment.
The 540C is a pure McLaren, and a pure sports car, sharing its DNA with the models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series, including a lightweight carbon fibre chassis and race-derived technologies. It is fitted with a mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine which has been developed to be responsive and thrilling, even at low engine speeds. The award-winning McLaren power unit generates 540PS at 7,500 rpm. With stop-start technology, it offers optimised levels of efficiency and a longer range suited to the typical usage of cars in this segment.
At the heart of the 540C, as with the 570S, is the unique carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis which has been newly designed with a greater focus on day-to-day usability, offering improved ingress to and egress from the cabin, along with class-leading occupant protection and safety. A dry weight of as low as 1,311 kg (2,890lbs) is achieved as a result of this lightweight structure and the use of aluminium body panels. This figure sees the 540C almost 150kg lighter than its closest competitor.
Power is delivered through the rear wheels via a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG) which, aided by the low weight of the 540C, sees the 0 to 100km/h (62mph) sprint completed in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 200km/h (124mph) in just 10.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 320km/h (199mph). A subtly revised aerodynamic package and a dedicated wheel design mark out the 540C Coupé against the more powerful 570S Coupé. Unique aero blades below the front bumper channel cold, clean air through the lower bodywork and up over the sculpted bonnet, flanked by large LED headlamps. At the rear, the diffuser sits between the twin exhausts which exit below the rear bumper. The aerodynamically-led styling of the Sports Series Coupé includes intricately designed dihedral doors which include the elegant floating door tendon.
The 540C features a newly-developed suspension system ensuring enhanced levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. The system uses front and rear anti-rollbars Formula 1™- style dual wishbones and independent adaptive dampers. The damper tuning has been revised on 540C, over 570S, with more focus on day-to-day road driving. Adaptive dampers offer control over bump and rebound settings using the familiar McLaren ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ handling settings.
Inside the cabin, the 540C Coupé is luxuriously appointed with leather upholstery to the seats, dashboard and lower doors as standard. The ‘floating’ centre console features a seven-inch IRIS touchscreen which controls all elements of the infotainment system. The air conditioning controls are also incorporated, as first seen on the McLaren P1™, minimising switchgear in the cabin. The touchscreen also controls the standard satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player.