Unless you are a car aficionado, McLaren Automotive may have gone under your radar, but, it’s a luxury car company that is up there with the other supercars. The British company has a long distinguished history, and to celebrate their 15-thousandth car, they released the McLaren 570s Spider. Automotive Journalist Petrina Gentile takes Kim Parlee to the McLaren Dealership in Woodbridge, Ontario to kick some tires.
You always bring me to the best places. Today, we're at McLaren, here in Toronto.
That's right. This is the British super car maker. And I've had to show you this particular vehicle. This is the McLaren 570S Spider.
And this is a new car, right?
It's a new car. It's part of their sport series. You can get it in a GT version or a coupe version. This one takes about 11 days to build, hand-built in the UK. Has a price tag starting at around $247,000. As tested, the vehicle we're going to drive today is north of $320,000.
Wow. OK. It is beautiful, I have to say. It's utterly gorgeous. Give us a little history, though because I think the name-- we know Lamborghini. We know Ferrari. And I don't think McLaren is probably as well known to those who aren't in auto circles.
Exactly. You're right. So this is a company that was founded by Bruce McLaren. And he was quite visionary at the time. He was a race car driver. At 22, he was the youngest formula Grand Prix winner in history. And he decided to start a company. And he started McLaren Motor Racing. Did very well on the racing circuit. But unfortunately, he actually died. He was killed on the race track testing a race car vehicle in 1970. And he was only 32 years old. And in 1980, another gentleman took over the company. And they did very well in racing. And they decided that they wanted to build a street car that has the racing DNA. And they did. They built this McLaren F1 after the F1 series. And this, to this day, is the fastest, naturally aspirated production car ever built.
And it sold-- get this-- for over $1 million back in 1993. And there were only 100 built. If you owned one now, Kim, it is worth anywhere between $18 and $20 million US.
That's a good investment.
It's a very good investment.
That's a good return over those past two years. Let's talk a bit about the car that we're going to take for a drive. And just take us through some of the features that are interesting. And the one thing that I was reading about-- it's light.
Very lightweight. And that's because of the carbon fiber chassis. So that's something that actually Bruce McLaren used from the race car history, so from their race cars. It tends to, with carbon fiber, have a better strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum or steel. So it's very strong. It's very lightweight. The chassis on this is about 170 pounds.
Are you kidding me?
Yeah. It's also rear-wheel-drive and it has a mid-engine. So again, the characteristics of a true racing car. This particular one has a 3.8 liter twin turbo V8. It has about 562 horsepower and goes zero to 100 in about three seconds.
Which we will not see today. But I will take your word for it.
That's right. And then of course, it's a convertible. It has that beautiful hard top. The trunk, or they call it the frunk, is the front trunk. There's a little bit of room maybe for your handbags. And it has the iconic dihedral doors. These are the doors that sort of swing up skyward, which makes it easier to get in and out of the seats.
All right. Let's take it for a drive.
Tell me what we have here.
OK. So this basically is the start/stop button to start up the engine. And then you have here a manual or an automatic mode that you can use. The manual mode, you can change it to different sport or track. And then you have actually paddle shifters here that you can use. But they're so beautiful, if you mess up, if you forget to upshift or downshift—
This just does it for you.
Yeah, you don't have to worry about it. It even has a launch system. So for the track, it can just take off.
Not today. Here's the auto start/stop function. In case you're worried about fuel economy when you're paying for a big, expensive vehicle like this, this will actually kill the engine when you're stopped at a stop light or stop sign.
But what happens when you go again?
It automatically starts up and it goes. So it's designed to save you fuel if you are concerned about that. And then here, of course, are your different gears, the drive, neutral, reverse. There--
No park, yeah.
Just to say.
You don't need that, right? It's something that's minor. And then of course, here is one of the most important things on this vehicle. This is for dropping the sunroof, which you can do even while you're driving at low speeds,
Yeah, up to 40 kilometers an hour.
All right. Well, let's start it. Let's put the roof down. And here we go.
Outrageous. Time for the roof, it's this one?
Yes, just push it down.
OK. Now we're good to go?
We're good to go.
All right. Let's take this for a drive, shall we?
Yes, we shall.
Oh, my gosh. That is awesome.
So how does it feel to you?
It feels fantastic.
It's very stable and very well-balanced.
It is. It's different than a Lamborghini ride. That's the one difference. I mean, you can see this being an everyday car.
It's surprisingly smooth.
Yeah. And it soaks up the bumps really well. I find it's not jarring. Sometimes, you're in a sporty car and you really feel every nook and cranny. But this one does a pretty good job of soaking up those bumps.
Yeah, yeah. What a beautiful day for a drive.
Especially in a convertible, eh? Zero to 100 kilometers--
In three seconds.
3.2 seconds, to be exact. Yeah, pretty quick.
Wow. Yeah, I just find it's almost like it's begging to accelerate around a curve.
And look, you're going 60 right there. I mean--
It doesn't feel like anything now, which is probably a problem. Anyway.
All right. Got my parking brakes on. Everything where it should be. That was an amazing ride. It's interesting because it has the power of the Lamborghini, but still it's refined.
It is. Yeah. But it has that racing DNA so you know that it can really handle the corners and accelerate fast.
Yeah. Now, it was also interesting is-- as I love-- usually, I'm turning heads because you're in the car with me. But everybody is looking at this car when you're going by, too.
Especially because you're a woman driving this vehicle. Typically, women don't buy these cars. It's mostly men. Men that like the racing and understand the racing and understand the brand's history. So it is a little bit unusual to see a woman at the wheel.
It's fantastic. Next time we're going to the track, right?
We're going to the track, for sure.
All right. Petrina Gentile, always great. Shows us some great cars. We always like to see what she's going to bring us next time. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. If you have any comments or questions on anything you've seen or if you'd like someone to look at your portfolio, always can email me at [email protected]