McLaren’s latest all-new model might not be what you’d expect from the British supercar maker.
Rather than being a track-focused weapon designed for Lewis Hamilton wannabees, it’s instead an ideal motor if you like to play golf or going on skiing holidays.
Called the McLaren GT – short for Grand Tourer – it’s a high-performance car with enough luggage space to embarrass some estate cars on a trip to Ikea.
While it costs £163,000, can sprint to 60mph in three seconds and has a top speed of 203mph, it’s most impressive stat is that it offers 570 litres of luggage capacity – the same as a BMW 5 Series Touring (in theory).
Practicality meets performance: This is the new £163,000 McLaren GT – a car that can do 203mph but also carry two pairs of skis in the boot
While all three are grunty, cossetting distance cruisers, the McLaren should get you to the golf club car park and top of the mountain quickest thanks to its incredible levels of performance.
The new GT is also far better equipped for an afternoon teeing off or a resort holiday than it’s British rivals.
Like all McLaren’s in the current range, there’s a 150-litre front storage compartment that bottoms out at the chassis floor.
But the party piece is the 420-litre boot, which sits below a rear-hinged (not side-hinged like the 570GT) glass tailgate that is capacious enough for two pairs of 185cm skis or a bag of clubs and its trolley.
Incredibly, all this additional practicality has barely taken a hit on outright speed, as far as we can tell.
Its party piece is the 420-litre boot, which sits below a rear-hinged glass tailgate that is capacious enough for two pairs of 185cm skis or a bag of clubs and its trolley
There’s a 150-litre front storage space too, meaning the McLaren GT has more combined luggage space (in theory) than a BMW 5 Series Touring
Despite the bigger boot, the McLaren GT can sprint to 60mph in 3 seconds
Despite a whole host of luxuries being loaded into the cabin, the GT can accelerate from zero to 60mph in 3.1 seconds, motor up to 124mph in nine and power on relentlessly to a top speed of 203mph – hardly what you’d call a relaxing pootle.
Those figures come courtesy of a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 – the same unit that powers the flagship 720S supercar in its range.
Like in the 720S, the engine is mid-mounted, though it has been slightly detuned to deliver performance that won’t rearrange your internal organs.
It also has less stiff engine mounts to connect it to the chassis, which has helped to reduce noise and vibration to keep the cabin as whisper silent as possible.
That means peak power has been dropped to 612bhp, with maximum torque provided between 5,500rpm and 6,500rpm.
Peering back between the front seats you can see the glass cover for the boot section
The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 powering the GT is the same unit from the flagship 720S supercar
It has been detuned, though, meaning the total power output of the engine is 612bhp
Around 95% of the peak torque can be utilised from 3,000rpm, making it an effortless cruiser
But to ensure the GT can offer make long-distance treks as tranquil as possible, 95 per cent of the peak torque comes in big lazy lumps from as low in the rev range as 3,000rpm.
The seven-speed transmission – sending power to the rear wheels – can be tailored for sharp and responsive gear changes in Race and Sport mode, but also left in a Comfort setting to seamlessly glide along during endless motorway journeys.
Like the rest of the McLaren range, the GT has a carbon fibre MonoCell monocoque tub to make it supremely light – tipping the scales at a Ford Fiesta equaling 1,530kg.
McLaren Automotive ceo Mike Flewitt described the car succinctly when revealing it to the world on Wednesday.
A seven-speed auto transmission sends power to the rear wheels. It can be tailored for sharp and responsive gear changes in Race and Sport mode, but also left in a Comfort setting to seamlessly glide along during endless motorway journeys
McLaren has given it 110mm of ground clearance to ensure it doesn’t bottom out through pothole or ding a diffuser on speed bumps
The car is equipped with Proactive Damping Control – a feature that can scan the road ahead and prime the suspension for any sinkholes en route
Inside the cabin, it looks very similar to the 570S and 570GT, with which it shares its DNA
‘The new McLaren GT combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a beautiful body and true to McLaren’s ethos of designing superlight cars with a clear weight advantage over rivals,’ he said.
‘Designed for distance, it provides the comfort and space expected of a Grand Tourer, but with a level of agility never experienced before in this segment.
‘In short, this is a car that redefines the notion of a Grand Tourer in a way that only a McLaren could.’
The Woking car maker has prepared the GT for every eventuality an owner might face when driving on the country’s public roads.
For instance, they’ve given it 110mm of ground clearance to ensure it doesn’t bottom out through pothole or ding a diffuser on speed bumps.
And just to make sure it can cope with steep multi-storey car park inclines and chunky kerbs, there’s a hydraulic system to raise the suspension to 130mm.
Drivers should barely detect if the tarmac underneath them in rutted anyway.
That’s because McLaren has fitted the GT with Proactive Damping Control – a feature that can scan the road ahead and prime the suspension for any sinkholes en route.
For the first time ever in a production car, buyers can spec the interior to be trimmed in cashmere
Visibility should be good considering there’s plenty of glass
The interior should feel roomy too, thanks mostly to the glass rear deck and this split panoramic roof
Those familiar with the rest of the British firm’s range will identify the cabin as being similar to the 570S and 570GT.
However, the McLaren GT’s giveaway features are a pair of electrically adjustable and heated seats, which – for the first time ever in a production car – can be trimmed optionally in cashmere.
It also gets the latest version of McLaren’s infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen housing a sat-nav with real time traffic info and the most accurate mapping data on offer.
Orders for the McLaren GT are open immediately, with prices starting from £163,000 – though that’s without any of the pricey optional extras.
First deliveries are due to arrive later this year.
Like the rest of the McLaren range, the GT has a carbon fibre MonoCell monocoque tub to make it supremely light – tipping the scales at a Ford Fiesta equaling 1,530kg
Orders for the McLaren GT are open immediately, with prices starting from £163,000 – though that’s without any of the pricey optional extras
First deliveries are due to arrive later in 2019. Would you have one over an Aston Martin DB11 or Bentley Continental GT?