Morning alarms are rarely an appealing proposition but when they display the words \u2018McLaren' and \u2018Drive Day \u2018 you\u2019d excuse me for skipping out of bed. The smorgasbord of supercars were strutting their stuff down at Sydney\u2019s Woolloomooloo wharf and after some seductive stare downs I reluctantly left the cars for the mornings briefing. McLaren UK had flown out Global Communications Director, Wayne Bruce to give us the run-down of all things McLaren and when he introduced himself as \u201cMan Bat \u201c I knew I was in for an entertaining presentation. There was some history, sales graphs, model forecasts... but most interestingly, a statement of intent, or lack thereof, that McLaren will not be producing an SUV. To some, this won\u2019t resonate, but I think there is something refreshing when a manufacturer bucks trends and just do what they do best; and in this case it\u2019s making exceptional supercars.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll also like:\r\nMonsieur Mclaren: The 570GT, A Gentleman\u2019s Supercar\r\nThe Jaguar E-Pace. One Staunch Kitty\r\nMcLaren\u2019s Senna Hypercar Delivers Pure Street Legal Savagery\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen the briefing concluded, hands were shaken, coffees were consumed and keys were distributed. My key happened to open McLaren\u2019s often overlooked \u2018entry level \u2018vehicle, the 540C. As I\u2019d already driven the 570GT\u00a0\u00a0and 570 Spider\u00a0it was the perfect way to round off the sports series. Externally, you\u2019ll need a sharp eye to spot any visual differences with the 570. You still get those infamous dihedral doors, MonoCell II chassis and enough carbon aero for grown men go weak at the knees. In sheer head turns to price ratio, it has to be the one of the best on the market.\r\n\r\nAs I drove out through the city towards\u00a0Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, I was wondering If I romanticized my previous involvement with a McLaren.\u00a0Can it be as good as I remember?\r\nLike a holiday or a music festival, we have a tendency to recall the good and suppress the bad. Two corners in to the chase, my doubts were erased. That turn in, that razor sharp turn in\u2026 it\u2019s something that\u2019s hard to quantify on a spec sheet and is equally difficult to display visually, but it\u2019s there in abundance. It\u2019s something more akin to an open wheel race car than a comparable road car and it\u2019s oh so rewarding. Every apex, every corner exit wiggle, this sports series range is engaging in all the right ways.\u00a0To be perfectly honest, the 540C doesn\u2019t have as much drivetrain sorcery as some of its exotic rivals, but refreshingly, it doesn\u2019t need it. The amount of mechanical grip on tap is staggering and when you get it right, it\u2019s sheer driving bliss.\r\n\r\nPowering the lightweight weapon is the same twin turbo V8 from the 570, only de-tuned slightly to 397kW. That converts to a 0-100 time of 3.5 seconds (vs 3.2 in the 570) and 0-200 in 10.5 seconds (vs 9.5). As you can see, the difference is minor and when you\u2019re gliding from apex to apex through that 7-speed dual clutch, you\u2019ll be too busy appreciating that steering rack and chassis to worry about those 20 Kilowatts you\u2019re missing. Wheels are a juicy 19\u201d: 20\u201d (F:R) and are wrapped in Pirelli\u2019s finest P Zero rubber whilst braking is achieved via steel rotors, feel and performance is remarkable.\r\n\r\nFor a car that is so well sorted, goes that hard and looks that good\u2026 the 540C is an exceptional package. It\u2019s one of the only cars under $350k with genuine supercar looks and performance and while it\u2019s not quite a 570, it\u2019s extremely close. McLaren have done an outstanding job with the sports series of cars and when you consider their relatively short history with roads cars, it\u2019s even more remarkable.\r\nMcLaren are an independent manufacturer with a well-earned sense of purpose. They produce what they love, they ignore the trends, and they know who they are. It might not sound like much, but in this day and age, there\u2019s something reassuring in that.\r\nBoth symbolically and physically, McLaren are well and truly, sticking to their lane.\r\n\r\nMcLaren\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll also like:\r\nMonsieur Mclaren: The 570GT, A Gentleman\u2019s Supercar\r\nMcLaren MSO X Redefines Exclusivity\r\nMcLaren\u2019s Senna Hypercar Delivers Pure Street Legal Savagery\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHave you subscribed to\u00a0Man of Many? You can also follow us on\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0Twitter,\u00a0Instagram, and\u00a0YouTube.