It is fitted with a mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine, developed to be responsive and thrilling even at low engine speeds. The award-winning McLaren power unit generates 540PS at 7,500rpm and 540Nm of torque at 3,500 to 6,500rpm.
With stop-start technology, it offers optimised levels of efficiency and a longer range suited to the typical use of cars in this segment.
At the heart of the 540C, as with the 570S, is the unique carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, which has been newly designed with a greater focus on day-to-day usability, offering improved ingress to and egress from the cabin, along with class-leading occupant protection and safety. A dry weight of just 1,311kg (2,890lb) is achieved with this lightweight structure and the use of aluminium body panels. The 540C is almost 150kg lighter than its closest competitor.
Power is delivered through the rear wheels via a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox (SSG) which takes it from 0 to 100km/h (62mph) in 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 320km/h (199mph). Given this level of performance, 25.5mpg on the EU combined cycle and emissions of just 258g/km are impressive.