The leap from an Audi R8 or Mercedes-AMG GT to a McLaren just became smaller following the release of the 540C priced from $350,000.
The 540C is the range opener in a new McLaren Automotive Sports Series line-up due to launch early next year.
With a 1311kg kerb weight and 397kW/540Nm from a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, the entry car can still get to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds and on (tally-ho!) to 200km/h in 10.5sec.
That time to the ton is three-tenths faster than an AMG GT, three-tenths slower than a 911 Turbo and a match for the last of the line R8 V10 Plus.
It’ll take buying the McLaren 570S to match the Porker’s turn of speed thanks to an uprated 419kW/600Nm and scales that move up by only 2kg compared with the entry car.
Priced at $408,000, the 570S shifts towards $444,900 911 Turbo S territory. It also slightly undercuts the $428,000 Lamborghini Huracan, which also does the 100km/h sprint in an identical 3.2sec.
There now isn’t a huge jump to the McLaren Sport Series range that consists of the 650S coupe ($459,250) and Spider ($505,750).
Both get even more grunt (474kW/678Nm) from essentially the same engine and lower the 100km/h time to 3.0sec flat – a match for 911 Turbo S.
With the new entry McLaren models, though, it’s all about closing the gap – for those buyers who are in between R8 or AMG GT, and Huracan or 458 Italia, there is now another answer beyond Porsche 911.