Bringing supercar performance to the GT segment.
After a handful of spy shots and teasers, McLaren's latest model has arrived seeking to bring supercar performance to the grand touring segment. It's called the GT (short for Grand Tourer) and it's the most comfortable car McLaren has ever produced. McLaren says the GT borrows DNA from the limited production Speedtail, but that car's three-seat layout simply could not be used due to US airbag regulations.
The GT will sit outside of the existing Sports, Super, and Ultimate Series cars in its own new category. Although the 570GT was McLaren's first attempt to build a comfortable and practical car for everyday use, this GT model may be the first McLaren you can truly drive every day.
As with other McLaren models, the GT is built using a carbon fiber structure in order to keep it light and rigid to ensure excellent driving dynamics. Although this is the "comfortable" McLaren, it only weighs 3,232 pounds, which is only around 100 pounds more than the 720S. McLaren made sure the GT will be plenty fast with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, all of which goes out to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The performance figures are pretty blistering too. McLaren says the GT will hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, 124 mph in 9.1 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 203 mph. These types of numbers typically come bundled with a massive compromise in fuel economy, but with EPA fuel ratings of 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined (subject to change), McLaren says the GT will travel around 399 miles on a single tank of gas.
McLaren clearly intends for the GT to be driven, which is why it has paid extra attention to making the car as comfortable and luxurious as possible. This is the first car to use the company's new MonoCell II-T monocoque (T stands for Touring), which allows for the addition of a 14.8 cubic feet luggage area below the front-hinged, glazed tailgate. This tailgate comes with a soft-close function as standard and can be electrically powered if a customer options it that way. Another 5.3 cubic feet of storage is available up front, giving the GT a total of 20.1 cubic feet of storage space.
All of McLaren's cars are easy to see out of, but this new GT should be among the best thanks to extensive use of glass and low-mounted sills. Even the heated seats are bespoke to the GT and feature streamlined controls that should be easier to use than the ones in the Sport and Super Series cars. The seats can be finished in Nappa leather or Alcantara while a new Cashmere option will also be added towards the end of 2019. This is the first time Cashmere has ever been used in a production vehicle and we are excited to see what it feels like.
The GT's interior also features an updated infotainment system, ambient lighting, a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with carbon fiber subwoofers, and an optional glass roof that can remain clear or become opaque at the press of a button. Most of the controls for the radio and climate system are housed on the touchscreen, enabling a more driver-focused cabin.
McLaren has worked on giving the GT a comfortable ride by loosening the GT's engine mounts so they're half as stiff as those in the 600LT, while extra measures have been taken to reduce low-frequency sounds from the carbon fiber structure. At over 15 feet long the GT is one of the longest McLarens ever built, but at least the approach and departure angles have been improved to help keep it from scraping. McLaren says the underbody clearance is 4.3 inches (or 5.1 inches with the front lift engaged), which should make it easier to drive on a daily basis.
The suspension should also keep occupants comfortable with its Optimal Control Theory software, which can read the road surface and work out how to react to it within just two milliseconds. The GT still uses a hydraulic steering rack, which has the ability to provide increased assistance at low speeds to aid in parking maneuvers without compromising feedback at high speeds. Available in seven to fifteen different spoke styles, 21-inch rear wheels (the largest ever fitted to a McLaren) pair with 20-inch front wheels and come wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires.
The McLaren GT is available to order now with a starting price of $210,000. Deliveries are set to commence near the end of 2019.