The growing McLaren supercar range has recently been expanded by the 'entry' level 570GT sports series. Having a 562 horsepower machine as a base offering goes to show how far sportscars have come in the past decade and while this McLaren may be the comfort oriented GT model, don't for a moment think that it does not offer some serious handling and acceleration capabilities.
The 570GT is all new for 2017 and offers a more road-focused ride to the mechanically similar 570S.
The 570GT offers a thoroughly modern and a minimalist interior design language with hand-crafted touches throughout the cabin. The available customization options make it possible to have a truly bespoke interior look and feel
Stepping low into the seats is typical of many a supercar but once seated the McLaren offers excellent visibility and the panoramic sunroof gives the cabin an airy feel. That is something that is not always a given at this level and the controls too are within easy reach, although some familiarization will be required with the infotainment system and powered seat touch controls.
The rear hatch and additional storage space are an improvement over the 570S but the GT is still no load-lugger, and interior oddments space is also severely lacking. It does have a small front trunk that can pack a weekends worth of luggage but when it comes to practicality, a Porsche 911 Turbo offers a lot more cargo space and two (small) rear seats too.
Lacking the trick suspension hardware found in the top-level 720S and P1, the 570GT relies on traditional fine-tuning methods to give it a ride that can offer both compliance over bumps and the ability to demolish a mountain pass without raising a sweat.
While the settings have been softened over the overtly-sport 570S the GT is still no boulevard cruiser. Its less edgy handling feel may appeal to a broader target market though and this makes the 570GT the most usable daily driver in the McLaren range.
The 570 GT is equipped with a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 which makes 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and despite its entry-level status the 570GT powers to 60 mph in a hair over 3-seconds and keeps you pinned to the seatback right up to its 204 mph top speed.
That is Ferrari 488 and Porsche Turbo territory and the in-gear acceleration is also near-instantaneous at just about any speed. The standard brakes are well up to the task of hauling the McLaren up from these velocities and if track driving is going to be part of the ownership experience then the available Carbon ceramic brakes will provide fade-free stopping ability too.
The 570GT comes in one trim level that covers basically all of the bases when it comes to luxury, safety and in-car entertainment. At this level the options are focused around a seemingly endless list of customizations, from carbon-fiber detailing and bespoke paint schemes to a full MSO (McLaren Special Operations) package which allows for one-off builds and owner-exclusive optional extras.
The standard specifications list includes staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, vehicle lift system, Lithium-ion battery charger, surround parking sensors and LED exterior lights.
A 7-inch touchscreen incorporates a rearview camera, navigation system, Sirius satellite radio and offers smartphone compatibility. A McLaren 8-speaker audio system can be upgraded to a Bowers & Wilkins unit. A sports exhaust is also a notable option as are carbon fiber interior trim items and sports seats.
This base McLaren 570GT offers a level of comfort and handling that challenges some of the very best sports cars on the market. It straddles the line between a pure GT and dedicated track machine which gives it a broader appeal to shoppers looking for the ultimate road-going junior supercar.