The Audi R8 has always been the best entry-level supercar. In fact, it was the entry level supercar to have. While calling something that costs $180,000 to start entry-level is a bit like saying even the lowest-paid NFL player is at an entry-level position, it’s still entry-level for its segment. The R8 has performance in the same realm as cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and now McLaren. However, those cars always cost far more than the Audi R8’s already eye-watering price tag. Until now, that is.
The new McLaren 570s is McLaren’s least expensive car and starts at right around the price as the Audi R8, around $180,000. For that money, though, it doesn’t seem as if you’re getting an entry-level car into any segment, with the 570s. The new baby-McLaren is a downright supercar and shouldn’t even carry a suffix like “entry-level” or “budget” before its supercar title. While the Audi R8 is an amazingly impressive machine and has killer performance, the McLaren just might crush it, unfortunately for us Audi fans.
The McLaren 570s uses a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, much like the McLaren 650s or P1, so it’s lighter and more rigid than the already impressively light and rigid Audi R8. But the R8 is made from mostly aluminum, which is far heavier than carbon fiber. The 570s also uses a smaller engine and has less horsepower than the R8 V10, but its lighter weight and turbocharged torque actually makes it faster. The 570s’ 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8 makes 564 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, compared to the R8 V10 Plus’ 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, and they both rocket to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds (though the Mac might be a touch quicker than that).
Another area where the McLaren edges out the Audi R8 V10 Plus is in the handling department. the R8 is an incredible machine, no doubt, and handles fantastically. But the McLaren 570s is simply on another level. While the R8 V10 feels like an almost-supercar, the 570s feels like an actual supercar. Its carbon fiber tub, incredible torque and rear-wheel drive allows it to simply outdrive other cars, and have more fun than the others while doing it. Normally, supercars are so competent, they almost aren’t fun. But not the 570s, as it’s a hoot to drive. The 570s also has the ability to slide its tail about, something the Audi R8 has never really been known for.
This should be scary for Audi and its R8 supercar. The R8 was always the supercar that had a bit more sense than cars from Maranello and Sant’ Agata. However, the British Marquee from Woking has created something that could be even better.
British motoring journalist and expletive enthusiast, Chris Harris, has recently driven the new McLaren 570s and has quite a lot of nice things to say about it. Admittedly, he’s a bit biased towards McLaren, but it’s really hard not to see how fun of a car the 570s is by looking at his gigantic grin while driving it. Check the video out and imagine the R8 V10 comparison possibilities.