McLaren 540C Coupe-01

McLaren has unveiled its most attainable car yet at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. The McLaren 540C Coupe joins the recently revealed 570S Coupe as the second model in the company’s new Sports Series.

As its name suggests, the 540C is powered by an engine with 540 PS at 7,500 rpm and 540 Nm of torque from 3,500 to 6,500 rpm. It’s the same mid-mounted 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 found in the 570S, but that one has 570 PS and 600 Nm. McLaren chose to equip the 540C with stop-start for better efficiency and a longer range “suited to the typical usage of cars in this segment” – not just a track toy, this one’s for the real world.

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 100 km/h sprint completed in 3.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 320 km/h. That’s just slightly slower than the 570S’ 3.2 seconds and 328 km/h. Performance considered, 9 km/l on the European combined cycle is pretty good.

McLaren 540C Coupe-06

A subtly revised aero package and a unique cast alloy wheels (sliver or stealth finish, 19-inch front, 20-inch at the back) mark out the 540C Coupe. Unique aero blades below the front bumper channel 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.

Also aerodynamically-led are the dihedral doors with floating tendons. This design feature channels air along the length of the door into the two integrated air intakes mounted in the rear quarter panel. This creates a clean path, directing air to the flying buttresses at the rear of the cabin. An integrated spoiler at the trailing edge of the rear deck adds downforce.

The 540C features a newly-developed suspension system. It uses front and rear anti-rollbars, F1-style dual wishbones and independent adaptive dampers. The damper tuning has been revised with more focus on day-to-day road driving. Adaptive dampers offer control over bump and rebound settings using the familiar Normal, Sport and Track handling settings. The 540C also retains the F1-derived Brake Steer system, designed to aid cornering through the application of braking force to the inside rear wheel.

Globally available and priced from £126,000 (RM684,086 in the UK), the 540C Coupe can be pre-ordered now with deliveries scheduled to start in early 2016. We’re expecting news from McLaren Kuala Lumpur in the near future.

GALLERY: McLaren 540C Coupe

GALLERY: McLaren 570S Coupe