The everyday supercar was invented by Porsche with the 911 Turbo. It was the sort of car that offered supercar levels of speed and performance but in a usable everyday package. You could use it to blitz the world’s greatest race tracks, but then take it to the shop and buy some groceries afterward. Ever since the 911 Turbo, more and more automakers have been coming up with their own versions of the everyday supercar and now there are plenty of them. So Top Gear took to finding out which one was best.
The most prominent example of a car company attempting to dethrone the 911 Turbo is the Audi R8 V10. While the Audi R8 doesn’t have the practicality of the 911, as it doesn’t have back seats, it offers an even better performance bargain. Coming in at less money than the 911 Turbo, the R8 V10 Plus packs 602 horsepower, compared to the 911 Turbo’s 552 hp. Both cars have all-wheel drive and dual-clutch gearboxes, but the 911 Turbo is actually quicker still. But the R8 has a bit more of a supercar feel to it, being mid-engine. However, according to Ollie Marriage, the Audi R8 V10 Plus just feels a bit less connected than the other two. It understeers a bit more than the Porsche and McLaren at the limit and is noticeably bigger and heavier. Though the R8 does have the best cabin of the three and by far and away the most exciting engine. That V10 noise is worth buying the R8 for in itself.
The Porsche 911 Turbo is still a 911 Turbo, though. It’s incredibly fast, fastest in the test, and easily the most comfortable and easy to live with. Porsche has been doing this for a long time, so it knows what it’s doing. The controls are all perfectly laid out, the view out of the car is the best, the ride is comfortable and the steering is excellent. It does lack a bit of excitement, compared to the other two, however. The engine doesn’t make the best of noises and this new 911 Turbo seems to shy on the side of comfort rather than outright performance, so it’s a bit more gran tourer than baby supercar.
McLaren seems to have gotten it the most right, though. The McLaren 570s is the very definition of entry-level supercar. It’s the most expensive in the test, which is a bit of an issue, but it’s the best car of the bunch. If you were to drive the Audi R8 V10 or the Porsche 911 Turbo in solitude of one another, I’m sure you’d find them to be outstandingly good. However, in the presence of the McLaren 570s, they’re both the inferior cars. The McLaren has a bit of an unfair advantage, by using a carbon fiber tub chassis, like in its bigger brothers, the 650s and P1. This allows it to be the lightest in the test by far and the most rigid. It also has the best steering and most composed ride, even if it’s a bit stiff. The McLaren is the best entry-level supercar of the bunch and that’s more high praise for McLaren than an indictment on Porshce or Audi. Those two cars are spectacular, but the 570s is even more so.