by Sebastian Cenizo
McLaren is a company that markets itself based on past and present racing endeavors, and that is what helps create phenomenal road cars with advanced engineering trickling down to more "normal" vehicles. McLaren builds racecars for the road, but the brand's big-wigs also realize that sometimes a more relaxed approach is required. Enter the 570GT. Based on the sporty 570S, this model is a grand tourer with a little less focus on ultimate performance, and a little more interest in comfort. Nevertheless, the brand's famous 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty is the 570S is still on display in the GT, with the same figures of 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. This makes it capable of getting from 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 204 mph. So is it worth getting the softer car? Should you buy a Porsche instead?
The 570GT is an all-new model but is based on the existing 570S. However, in the interest of practicality, a large storage area and a folding glass hatch have been added. In addition, the spring rates have been softened by ten percent in the rear and 15 percent up front. Iron brake discs are also standard in place of carbon ceramics, but you also get more sound deadening, a less obnoxious exhaust system, and less noisy tires. However, you can still revert many of the changes, including the less frantic steering system, to what you get in the 570S.
3.8-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
Is the 570GT beautiful? That's up for debate, but the design certainly is striking. LED headlights in the shape of the McLaren logo are a natural inclusion, while the front also features a large splitter. A massive rake runs through the dihedral doors and into the rear fenders, where intake scoops are mounted. 19-inch wheels are fitted up front with 20s at the rear. Speaking of the rear, an integrated spoiler leads down to a large diffuser that is framed by exhaust tips on either end. On top, a glass roof lets plenty of sunlight into the cabin.
Despite being one of the smaller models in the McLaren lineup, the 570GT is still remarkably wide, measuring a total of 82.5 inches across. Length measures 178.3 inches, while height is marked at 47.3 inches. The wheelbase measures 105.1 inches, while curb weight starts at 3,314 pounds.
McLaren's familiar 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 is in operation in the 570GT, producing 562 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, making the luxury GT capable of getting from 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Top speed is rated at 204 mph, which McLaren says makes the 570GT the "fastest GT in its class". It makes for a compelling package that can be enjoyed thoroughly in spirited driving scenarios, as much as when you want to simply cruise. The throttle response is far sharper than in something like a Bentley, and the acceleration and depths of power feel almost limitless, with the 570GT surging forward in a manner that would be considered visceral in almost any other vehicle. Yet, a stop/start function has also been added for the first time in a McLaren, making the GT more efficient and quiet in the city. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is perfectly suited to either full-throttle hard charging or relaxed cruising, with quick, smooth shifts in automatic mode and impressive response from the steering-mounted paddles when you choose manual operation.
The GT has been softened when compared to the 570S, but it's still not a floppy, floaty two-door limo. It is as impressive to drive and as sharp as you'd expect from a high-end sports car built by McLaren, with the electro-hydraulic steering system offering plenty of feel and communication from the front tires. It's an agile thing that can be chucked about with freedom and is a machine capable of sticking with 911 Turbos through the bends with relative ease. However, with softer spring rates, you will notice the difference if you've just hopped out of a 570S. The adaptive dampers on this car are thus even better at minimizing the effects of various road imperfections. That said, it's not as luxurious as something like a Merc S-Class or a Bentley Continental. This is a car that is neither all-out luxury car nor flat-out racer, and it does a good job of walking the line between the two extremes, but the bias is still clearly on performance, not comfort.
McLaren claims that the 570GT will return figures of 15/23/18 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles. With a 19-gallon gas tank, this makes it capable of around 342 miles of mixed driving before the tank is empty. These figures are not far off those of something like an Audi R8, a car that returns official estimates of 14/25/18 mpg on the same cycles. However, the Audi has a larger 21.9-gallon gas tank, which will thus return a greater range.
The 570GT, as with all current production McLarens, is a strict two-seater. Entry and exit is facilitated by dihedral doors that open up in spectacular fashion, adding drama to your arrival every time. However, they're not too practical. Once you step over the large door sill that is part of the carbon tub, you try your best to slide into the seat with grace only to realize that the door is now out of reach, meaning you have to stretch uncomfortably to close it. Nevertheless, once that's over, the seats are pretty comfortable, if a little low - another hint of the racing pedigree that is ingrained in McLaren products. Eight-way power-adjustment makes finding a good driving position an easy task, and all-round visibility is pretty good, with plenty of glass offering a good view - even out the back.
For a McLaren, the 570GT is remarkably practical. In the nose of the car is a 5.3-cubic-foot cargo area. Of course, that's barely enough for the smallest of overnight bags, but wait, there's more! Behind the seats is another area that can be accessed from outside. The glass hatch opens kerbside and offers an additional 7.8 cubic feet of volume, making that weekend getaway easier to manage.
In the cabin, you get a couple of small spots in the center console that could be used for keys or possibly a phone, and a small center armrest bin, but there aren't many places to put anything else.
The McLaren 570GT features auto LED headlights and LED taillights as standard, along with parking sensors at the front and at the rear. A rearview camera is included too, and you get eight-way power-adjustable heated seats as standard. You also get a panoramic glass roof, soft-close dihedral doors, launch control, cruise control, heated power-folding mirrors, and McLaren Track Telemetry - a system that can analyze your laps and record times set. Dual-zone climate control is standard too, while a nose-lifting system is a no-cost option.
The 570GT's infotainment system is comprised of McLaren's seven-inch vertical touch display, with three USB ports, aux input, Bluetooth connectivity, IRIS navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an eight-speaker sound system. The system is fairly attractive and simple enough to understand, but the screen itself is slow to respond and this detracts from an otherwise excellent car. In addition, that glass roof can cause glare that makes the screen tricky to read. Should you wish to upgrade one aspect of the system, you can spec a Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker audio setup.
Thus far the McLaren 570GT has been free of recalls, as is its 570S sibling.
Should anything go wrong, the car comes with a three-year/unlimited mileage bumper to bumper warranty. You also get ten years of corrosion protection and the option of a paid extended warranty with mileage limits.
The 570GT has not been crash-tested by either the NHTSA nor the IIHS, but its carbon fiber shell is exceptionally strong and would undoubtedly remain intact in the event of a crash.
Advanced driver aids are all but nonexistent, but you do get a complement of frontal and side-impact airbags, a rearview camera, parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, and the option of hill start assist and a fire extinguisher.
The 570GT is still a McLaren at heart, and a slight reduction in athletic ability has made it a little tamer, sure, but this is still a rapid and responsive machine. Its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 is remarkably responsive and feels incredible, while the light body and impressive suspension setup combine to create an impressive canyon carver that can still do the daily drive with decency. It lacks the all-wheel grip of an Audi R8 and the luxury of a Bentley Continental GT, but it has flair and drama. It's one of the best-driving GTs on the market, and its looks are as striking as they come. However, it's neither a proper GT nor a full-bodied sports car, and for either of those applications, there are better options out there. For someone who wants an all-in-one car, the 570GT is decently practical and ergonomic, but in this case, we'd rather opt for something purpose-built. It's the compromise that makes this car pointless.
The McLaren 570GT has a base price starting at around $205,000, before options and a destination charge of $2,500. Various interior and exterior packages can be specified to enhance the vehicle aesthetically, while upgrades like brakes and tires can also contribute to a higher price. With McLaren Special Operations offering almost limitless avenues of customization too, your 570GT can easily cost over $300,000.
The 570GT is a slightly softer version of the 570S, yet you can spec most of the latter car's performance enhancements to the car. This seems a little pointless when you can simply buy a 570S, so we'd stick with aesthetic and convenience upgrades. We'd opt for the nose-lifting system, the upgraded Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and a bespoke luggage set that fits in the limited cargo space of the car. Our taste pushes us towards some Amethyst Black paint and a two-tone leather interior, but these choices will be different for everyone.
The Audi R8 is a serious competitor to the 570GT as a supercar that you can realistically use every day. Pricing starts below $200,000, making it more affordable than the McLaren, but you get a Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces up to 640 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque in the V10 Plus. Acceleration times and top speed are almost identical to those of the McLaren 570GT. Yet, the Audi is the more complete package. A stunning 12.3-inch digital display keeps your eyes facing in the correct direction, while the MMI infotainment system not only offers far more features than the system in the 570GT, but also works far more fluidly. There is a case to be made for the McLaren's more prestigious name and its attention-grabbing doors, but as a car that you can live with every day, the Audi is just far more comfortable and capable.
Much like the Audi above, the 570S on which the 570GT is based starts below $200,000. For that money, you get the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 as you do in the GT, with the same output. You also get adaptive dampers and a very similar list of standard features. However, you also get a more capable track weapon. The suspension is stiffer and the steering sharper, yet the 570S is not bone-shatteringly harsh, nor is it too twitchy to use in bumper-to-bumper traffic. While the GT is compromised, the S is focused almost exclusively on going fast. For the real mini-supercar experience, we'd opt for the cheaper and more capable 570S, but for those who prefer a little more luxury and even practicality, the 570GT will be just fine. That said - the upcoming McLaren GT is even more luxury focused, and could provide the levels of comfort that you expect from a touring car at this price.
Check out some informative McLaren 570GT video reviews below.