Lively as It Is Lovely
Like its coupe sibling, this hatchback feels alive. Electrohydraulically assisted steering vibrates with communication. Relatively narrow 225/35ZR-19 front tires minimize initial turning effort, which builds as naturally as with an unassisted rack. Unfortunately, when the front axle succumbs to understeer, the steering effort doesn’t taper off as naturally as we’d like, but it’s about as good as it gets in a modern car. Plus, unlike with the multifunction steering wheels in, say, a Porsche 911 Turbo or a Ferrari California T, there are no wheel-mounted buttons to get in the way. The horn is all you can control via a McLaren’s steering wheel.
The 570GT stuck to our skidpad with 1.02 g of grip and stopped from 70 mph in 154 feet. Neither of those performance measures are particularly noteworthy; a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 that sells for less than half the money will walk away from a 570 on a country road. These lower absolute limits make the GT feel more like the world’s fastest Mazda Miata than a slower version of the 650S. And that’s a great thing. Many supercars have limits so high that they are unattainable anywhere but on a racetrack, rendering them a little boring to drive anywhere else. Negotiating an on-ramp at 1.00 g in the 570GT elicits a little tail wag and a genuine sense of excitement. Driving a slow car fast is always more fun than driving a fast car slow. Not that any McLaren could ever be classified as slow—the 570GT runs from zero to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds flat—but somehow McLaren managed to bake in that magic slow-car-fast sensation.