Will the new McLaren GT redefine the Grand Tourer as we know it?
It might have copped out with the name, but McLaren’s new GT blurs the line between Grand Tourer and sports car like never before. You’ll remember the Woking brand already dipped its toe into the world of Grand Touring with the 570GT, though as accomplished a car that was, its inherent sportiness ultimately compromised its intended purpose. The GT, however, has been designed from the outset for long-distance driving.
Reportedly sharing much of its DNA with the revolutionary Speedtail, the GT’s development put the onus on practicality and driver comfort, while retaining the core lightweight and performance characteristics core to the McLaren brand.
The carbon-fibre MonoCell, for example, has been tweaked to accommodate a 470-litre rear luggage bay, and there’s a new Proactive Damping Control suspension system to deliver a super smooth ride. The bright, spacious, quiet, and airy cabin is beautifully fitted and finished, as we’ve come to expect from McLaren’s cabins. It features new seats with extra-padding designed specifically for long-distance comfort, a more refined and connected infotainment system, and an optional glazed panel in the roof that can be tinted at the touch of a button. For the first time in a production car, cashmere will be offered as a trim option.
Being a car with a McLaren badge on its snout, the GT is still seriously fast. At 1,530kg dry, it’s a hefty 150kg lighter than its closest competitor. Paired with a specially revised version of the 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 that delivers 620HP and 630Nm of torque, and the GT will accelerate from 0–62mph in 3.2sec and onto a top speed of 203mph. Needless to say, its dynamic characteristics are just as impressive.
What do you think of the styling? For us, it’s neither as modern looking as the 570 and 720S nor as nondescript as the original MP4-12C. Sure, it’s handsome enough and would look right at home in Casino Square in Monte-Carlo, but it’s not a design that demands your attention when you look at it like the Senna or the Speedtail. Regardless, this McLaren is all about the driving experience and until we’ve spent some a good amount of time behind the wheel, we’ll reserve judgement. Deliveries commence at the end of the year and the price will start at £163,000.
Photos: McLaren Automotive