The McLaren supercar range grows again this week with the unveiling of the new 540C at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Sliding in below the only recently revealed 570S and wearing largely identical styling, the 540C enters as McLaren’s new entry-level offering.
The 540C, revealed just today, is driven by McLaren’s mid-mounted 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, producing 402kW and 539Nm of torque.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. McLaren claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds, while a launch to 200km/h takes just 10.5 seconds.
Versions of the same mill and transmission in the 570S means outputs of 419kW and 600Nm, with a zero to 100km/h and 200km/h times listed at 3.2 and 9.5 seconds respectively.
The 540C rides on a stagged 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheel package, and, as a more lifestyle-focused offering (despite its near 570S-level performance figures), the new model’s dampers are tuned for greater comfort in daily driving.
McLaren’s new entry model will likely take the lion’s share of sales volume across the range, with nearly identical styling and similar outputs to the 570S, but at a far more compelling price: £126,000 in the UK, versus £143,250 for the 570S.
The 540C will be offered globally, although Australian timing and price is still to be confirmed.
Speaking to TMR last year, McLaren Automotive's Executive Director of Global Sales Jolyon Nash said the company hopes the Sports Series models will deliver strong sales growth.
"If our volumes double over the next two years we’ll be happy," Nash said to TMR.
"So if we’re selling between 3000-3500 cars a year in 2016 and 2017 we’ll be very happy, but we’ll still be very exclusive,"
"What the Sports Series will do is sell in a segment below the 650S and will attract new customers to the McLaren brand."
Stay tuned for local details.