Three perfectly matched ‘entry-level’ supercars, but can any of them step out from the shadow of their more esteemed siblings?

 

The McLaren 540C, Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10 all have nigh-on 400kW, sub-four-second 0-100km/h times and show-offy price tags, and yet each seems destined to be perceived as the slower, cheaper and humbler version. The one you buy when business has been slow, or the divorce settlement particularly brutal.

It’s all nonsense, of course, but when you’ve got the 570S911 Turbo S and R8 V10 Plus strutting about in the sunnier corner of the showroom, each of these three cars will only ever be marked down as the slightly underachieving younger sibling. Imagine the deep-seated feelings of inadequacy if they had hearts rather than pistons, and brains instead of ECUs.

The thing about an inferiority complex, though, is that it can either make a person bitter and anti-social, or it can stir something primal deep within and drive them into successes far beyond the reach of their seemingly more illustrious siblings. In the case of one of these second-tier supercars, that’s exactly what has happened. But that won’t decide the winner of this group test. The victor will be the car that delivers the purest, most concentrated driving thrill, because – as supercars – that’s what they must do above all else.

> McLaren 570s Spider review