An Evening With The McLaren 570S

The above photo is not a photo of the 570S. Since I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of the new “base” McLaren (no matter how hard I tried to bribe every McLaren employee in attendance), I’m just going to describe it in some detail.

(Full Disclosure: McLaren wanted to show off the new 570S to a bunch of VIPs ahead of the NYIAS. Somehow I ended up on the list too. There were free drinks, and a McLaren branded silk scarf.)

Since the invitation clearly states that no cameras were allowed, I showed up early with my camera. It was impossible to miss the event space with the two 650S’s parked right out front.

I walked up just as the lady at the door with a clipboard had just turned away a group of enthusiastic European tourists. The nice lady steeled her face as I approached looking quite a lot like just another European tourist, with my camera slung over my shoulder. She checked twice after I gave my name, seeming to not really believe that I was supposed to be there. She wasn’t wrong.

Once off the massive car elevator, they required everyone to check-in and forfeit their mobile device and any other camera gear. I thought it’d be fine relinquishing my beloved camera, rationalizing that I was there to see a very cool new sports car and the only way I could do that was without my camera. But seeing it spirited away along with my iPhone and then walking inside the event space left me wondering how the hell I was going to tell the internet all about it. I’ll find a way.

Not long later, in a whoosh of fog and white linen, the 570S was revealed. First impressions were whispered the room around, and were for the most part predicable:

-It’s kind of a mix of 650S styling and P1 styling

-It has a ton of carbon fiber, especially at the rear

-The aerodynamic elements on the sides are impressive, with pass-throughs and buttresses

-It looks great in McLaren Orange, and has tons of “swoops” integrated into the design

These were all valid, and all quite predictable indeed. But after standing behind the 570s for what must have been three to four tequila drinks, I noticed something quite striking.

The 570S is actually hiding a first generation Ford Focus in it’s rear bumper! It’s even more pronounced without all the camouflage nonsense.

On the way out the door everyone was gifted a small square box. Not wanting to seem too excited to open the small box, I put it in my bag. Down on the street a line of brand new BMW X5s with McLaren decals had replaced the two 650S’s. I leaned in to one of them and asked if I could get a ride, but was brushed off by an important looking man who told me they were for VIPs only. Fair enough.

I walked down to the corner to find a cab, and noticed a trash can filled with fancy square McLaren boxes.

Fuck it. I ripped my box open and reveled in the soft silken kerchief only a British sports car maker could get away with gifting. I think it’s supposed to be a pocket square but I may or may not have blown my nose in it.

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