► Optional Track Pack for McLaren 570S
► Costs £16,500, adds MSO styling upgrades
► More high-speed downforce, 25kg lighter
Given the incessant torrent of new metal that has recently rocketed out of the gates of its Woking headquarters, it’s a bit of a surprise McLaren’s designers, engineers and aerodynamicists have found the time to have a nervous breakdown, let alone develop a comprehensive set of racing-inspired upgrades for the Sports Series. But tweak and massage they have, to deliver the Track Pack – a £16,500 option for those circuit-happy 570S owners keen to trim that last one hundredth of a second of their lap times. That’s quite punchy for an optional extra – it’ll put a decently specced Mini Cooper on your driveway – but perhaps less so when viewed in the light of the McLaren’s £146,150 price tag.
Hang on a minute… this looks just like a standard 570S
You’re not wrong. The upgrades to the standard 570S are visually modest, but no doubt the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the rear wing that’s a full 12mm higher than standard. Yes, that’s millimetres, not centimetres. Pass the tape measure.
That minor increase boosts downforce by a further 29kg at 150mph for enhanced cornering speed and greater stability under braking. The combination of alcantara-clad carbonfibre race seats, an alcantara-swathed cabin (it’s lighter than leather, don’t you know) and lightweight matte ‘Stealth finish’ alloy wheels reduces the car’s dry weight by 25kg to 1313kg.
McLaren’s Track Telemetry system, borrowed from the 675LT and P1, is included in the pack, providing data logging and real-time info on sector splits, lap times and comparative data with other drivers. Track Pack optioned cars are also marked out by two further visual tweaks courtesy of McLaren Special Operations – a ‘Dark Palladium’ finish for the roof and a matte-finished Sports Exhaust.
So did you rack up a new record around the ’Ring?
Er…no. Our test evaluation was carried out on public roads, and while we were keen to spear the McLaren across the country at an eyeball-flattening rate of knots, we didn’t think the excuse of evaluating the enhanced cornering speed and straight-line stability of the 570S at 150mph-plus for the sake of journalistic authenticity would stack up in court.
So, to be clear then, the upgrades enhance cornering but not straight-line performance?
Correct, but then to be fair I don't remember getting out of the 570S at any stage during testing thinking it was a little tardy. Track Pack or no, the 570S is a truly formidable speed device.
It’s not so much the ferocious helpings of velocity its 3799cc biturbo V8 dishes out, but the way it pulls harder and harder as it closes in on its 7500rpm power peak. Where most performance-oriented blown lumps can be all about mid-range punch and feel breathy and breathless when extended, the McLaren saves its best for the twelfth round. It feels indestructible.
There’s the slightest delay at lower revs as the blowers spool up, but drop a gear, keep your toe in and the 570S will reel in the horizon quicker than your synapses can compute. Pity the snorting and roaring engine, breathing through its sports exhaust, is more of a treat for those on the outside than driver and passenger. The cabin soundtrack is a bit too industrial hand-drier for our liking.
And the rest of the package?
Every other dynamic element feels perfect attuned to the prodigious performance. The responsive hydraulically assisted steering constantly writhes and wriggles in your hands, quietly but clearly telling you what the front wheels are up to. The ride quality successfully tightropes the line between comfort and compliance. The carbon ceramic brakes deal with all that mouth-drying speed without ever breaking sweat. And all this is wrapped in a friendly on-your-side chassis that never feels flustered or ruffled.
You may snigger at Woking’s weight-saving claim about the alcantara, but along with the fixed-position carbonfibre seats they imbue the McLaren’s spacious and beautifully finished cabin with a likeable dash of motorsport intent. One-piece seats can be, quite literally, a pain, but the lightweight chairs in the McLaren grip you like a baseball mitt – they’re comfortably snug with a surprisingly relaxed rake.
If you like wearing nifty suede driving booties, if you like propping up Pirelli’s share price and if you like the idea of regularly showing Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan, and Porsche 911 Turbo drivers what the rapidly receding rear of a McLaren looks like while you chase down Ferrari 488s, then by all means go ahead and tick that Track Pack box on your new 570S. Do so, and you’ll be driving one of the most engaging and pacey cars to the track, and one of the most dynamically accomplished cars around it.