The new McLaren GT aims to reinvent Grand Touring for the 21st century.
McLaren Automotive has revealed a unique new car that aims to redefine the rules of Grand Touring for a modern, discerning new audience.
The McLaren GT delivers all the classic attributes we’ve come to expect from such a vehicle, including high-end performance and durability for continent-crossing, but is lighter, faster and more user-friendly than ever before.
We had high hopes for this car as the first in the Grand Tourer product family (which goes alongside the other Sports, Super and Ultimate ranges) and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Described as “sleek, elegant and muscular” by McLaren, the new GT offers a great alternative to existing vehicles in what’s becoming an expanding market.
So, what makes it stand out from the competition? Let’s take a more in-depth look.
Structure and overall characteristics
As with all McLarens, the new GT has a carbon fibre structure for strength, rigidity, dynamics and kerbweight.
Its elegant exterior lines are pure Grand Tourer and the signature ‘hammerhead line’ runs horizontally across the nose to draw the eyes out to the side. At the rear, the fixed rear wing and significant exhaust pipes remind us this is a vehicle that can offer supercar performance.
You won’t fail to miss the 21-inch alloy rear wheels, either, which are the largest ever fitted to a McLaren.
Another key feature are the muscular rear fenders that provide an homage to Grand Touring history, but also incorporate the new GT’s air intakes for high-temperature radiators that cool the engine.
Power and performance
Speaking of the engine, the GT boasts a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine with 620PS, which can reach nought to 62mph in just 3.2 seconds. The maximum speed of the GT is 203mph, although relatively few participants in grand touring are ever likely to witness the speedo getting quite that high.
This is a superlight car – with a power-to-weight ratio of just 405PS-per-tonne – and that feeling of weightlessness is boosted by hydraulic steering that also kicks in at low speeds to help with urban parking.
Interior and comfort
The GT’s engine and exhaust system have been perfectly positioned to improve the volume, shape and overall usability of the luggage bay, with McLaren promising you could get a golf bag or your ski boots and cases in the back with ease.
Even another 150-litres’ worth of storage at the front doesn’t impose upon the cabin, which McLaren said is “designed to delight” on longer journeys.
We’re sure that’s perfectly true as well, with streamlined, heated, electrically-adjustable seats that have the ideal amount of padding and back support for driver comfort.
Glazed C-pillars and rear-quarter windows have been incorporated into the design, which adds to the interior light and makes the area feel even more spacious, at the same time as improving vision.
In the GT, you’ll also find the most sophisticated infotainment system McLaren has ever fitted, complete with HERE navigation mapping and real-time traffic information, telephony, media streaming and voice activation, all from a driver interface similar to a smartphone.
Another great feature is the 12.3-inch TFT screen directly in front of the driver, which looks like something you’d find on an aircraft and will perform cool tricks like showing the image behind the vehicle when reverse gear is selected, all at eye level for maximum convenience.
Everything inside is finished off with a Nappa leather trim that can be upgraded to even more luxurious leather – and McLaren is even making cashmere available as an option by the end of the year.
Cashmere! Can you get any more luxe than that? It’s the first time this material has ever been used in a production vehicle too, so expect considerable excitement over its comfort when the first cars fitted with it are rolled off the production line.
McLaren’s Mike Flewitt said creating the first true Grand Tourer meant the brand had to go deep into the history of Grand Touring while also remaining true to all the classic McLaren philosophies of designing superlight vehicles.
“This is a car that redefines the notion of a Grand Tourer in a way that only a McLaren could,” he said.
“The new McLaren GT clearly stands out both as a new type of McLaren and a cutting-edge interpretation of a Grand Tourer for a new era,” agreed design director Rob Melville.
This is a compelling blend of design, innovation, engagement and true supercar performance – and if it doesn’t make a new generation of Grand Tourers want to get out there on the open road, then we don’t know what will.
You’ll find the McLaren GT available to order now, with delivery starting from the end of 2019 and prices beginning at £163,000.
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