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Blame America For New McLaren GT Lacking Three Seats

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And yes, McLaren GT is the official name.

McLaren has just released another teaser image and video for its upcoming GT. The official reveal will happen on May 15. As previously reported, the new GT will not be part of the existing Sport, Super, or Ultimate Series, but rather its own separate segment. McLaren says it is "positioned alongside the existing Sports and Super Series" and will "redefine the rules of the Grand Tourer segment."

The GT will be the fourth car introduced as part of the UK carmaker's Track25 business plan. It's also the only other McLaren that shares DNA with the Speedtail Hyper-GT. And speaking of the Speedtail, that ultra-exclusive hypercar shares one thing in particular with the iconic McLaren F1 - a front-passenger three-seat arrangement.

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Given that the new McLaren we'll be seeing for the first time next week is also a grand tourer, wouldn't it make sense for it to have three seats instead of just two? Yes, and that's what McLaren wanted, but was unable to because of one country: the United States.

Autocar has learned that US airbag regulations consider the side seats of a three-seater to be in the front (when they are actually slightly further back than the central seat) and, therefore, are too far back for an airbag to deploy to them. Most other markets do not have this specific regulation but since McLaren very much wants to do business in America, it has to abide by the rules.

Unlike the Speedtail, which is limited to only 106 units, the new GT will be considered one of the firm's mainstream models, facing off against the likes of the Aston Martin DB11 and Ferrari Portofino. A central driving position certainly would have made the McLaren GT a true standout within its class.

Still, the McLaren GT promises an exhilarating overall experience. "It's a car that has been designed for distance and one that will also provide the comfort and space expected of a Grand Tourer. But with a level of agility never experienced before in this segment," said McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt. "In addition, it will be the lightest of Grand Tourers and by also having the best power-to-weight ratio, I promise it will be one of the quickest. In addition, it will be the only Grand Tourer to share its DNA with the 250mph McLaren Speedtail."

We can't wait to see and learn more about what is sure to be an exceptional car next Wednesday.

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