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Calling the McLaren 540C the budget car in the lineup is to do it a disservice. Like its 570S sibling, the 540C is going to offer a serious proportion of its much more expensive 650S stablemate's performance for a massive discount. And the tradeoff between the 532 hp 540C and the 562 hp 570S is roughly $25,700 … a huge chunk of change for just 30 hp difference from a virtually identical 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8.
It might just be cheap enough to actually be daily driven—McLaren assumes at least a few of its 540C customers will do just that.
So other than the price and horsepower differential, what's a 540C owner "giving up"? For one thing, the 540C will be optimized for comfort and utility. It shares the easier ingress and egress thanks to the improved carbon fiber monocoque (what McLaren calls the MonoCell II) and the improved interior comfort, so that's a wash. But it will be subtly visually and functionally different from the 570S. A less aggressive rear diffuser is the most obvious indication that you're looking at a 540C from the rear. Unique wheels also set the 540C apart—but other than that and the badging, it'll take a savvy onlooker to spot the differences.
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