The 540C Coupe is a pure McLaren, and a pure sports car, sharing its DNA with the models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series, including a light weight 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. As its name suggests, the Sports Series dedicated application of the award-winning McLaren power unit generates 540PS at 7,500 rpm and 540Nm of torque at 3,500-6,500 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.
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 (62 mph) sprint completed in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in just 10.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph). Given this level of performance, 25.5 mpg on the EU combined cycle and emissions of just 258 g/km are an impressive achievement.
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, with the Sports Series having its own unique damper settings. In ‘Normal’ mode, the system provides a refined yet engaging ride, while the ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ settings allow a greater level of focus and engagement when required. Twin damper valves ensure precise control, while dual wishbone suspension provides optimised levels of ride quality and driver feedback.
Inside the cabin, the 540C Coupe 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 DAB digital radio, as well as satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and media streaming, voice activation and the audio media player. The IRIS system also includes the electronic owner’s manual.