McLaren unveiled their 540C Coupe in Shanghai today, a car that will soon have to take on the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo and the all-new Audi R8 V10 FSI.
After all, this is why McLaren build the 540C isn’t it? They want to win the “Which would you rather have?” game.
With prices starting from £126,000 in the UK, you can’t really argue that it’s not that much more expensive than the £119,500 all-new R8 or the £120,598 Porsche 911 Turbo. And since McLaren is “hot” right now, brand image won’t really factor in this particular decision. It will all be about looks and performance, or the other way around, depends on the customer really.
We also hope that Porsche and Audi are ready for this because these three models will be forever linked together in a sort of 458 vs. Huracan or Aventador vs. F12 type of way. The reason for that is that they all share nearly identical performance figures and cost just about the same.
The Porsche 911 Turbo has 521 HP and reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 315 km/h. Then there’s the all-new R8 V10 with its 540 HP and 3.5 second 0-100 km/h sprint speed. Its top speed is 323 km/h (200 mph).
So how does the McLaren 540C Coupe compare? It hits 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds just like the R8 V10, and a nearly identical top speed at 320 km/h (199 mph).
Now which would you rather have? Could you argue that the McLaren 540C is the best looking of the three? Yes you could! Its flowing lines and mini P1-like appearance make it a lot more attractive than the perhaps too familiar Audi R8. The 911 Turbo is the wild card, since its looks will never get old.
But if you want to be a little superficial, imagine showing up at a dinner party and somebody asking you what you’re driving. “A McLaren” sounds a hell of a lot better than any of the other two, doesn’t it?