McLaren, after lots of teases, has finally unveiled it’s first ever grand tourer. It’s built to rival the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari Portofino, and Aston Martin DB11. It’s also the first of its kind in a completely new McLaren product category. Introducing McLaren GT, McLaren’s first regular-production grand tourer.
In case you’re unfamiliar with McLaren’s road car lineup, there were previously three categories. First came the entry-level Sports Series with cars like the 570S and the 600LT. Then came the Super Series which had full-blown supercars that offered contemporary performance. They included cars like the 675LT and the 720S. In the end, you had the Ultimate Series which was a category reserved for incredibly limited-production cars like the P1 and the Senna.
The GT falls under a completely new category called the Grand Tourer. Like all grand tourers, the GT prioritizes luxury and practicality over performance. Unlike most grand tourers, however, it is mid-engined, goes up to 203 mph and has a complete carbon-fiber chassis. How do the rest of its features stack up? Let’s find out
Design-wise, McLaren has definitely nailed it. They have managed to make the GT look less aggressive while retaining its beauty. Regardless, the car still has signature McLaren design cues that set it apart from the competition. The front end is purposefully subtle. The headlights still have the classic McLaren logo curve that we’ve grown to appreciate. It does, however, have a gloss black front splitter which, if you want, can be converted to carbon-fiber.
Earlier, I’ve mentioned that this car retains the McLaren design DNA. The side profile is proof of that. It’s sleek, aerodynamic and has just the right amount of curves at all the right places. Pair that with Butterfly Doors and you’ve got a gorgeous looking car. However, I do admit there’s one flaw. The slightly raised ride height does take away some beauty out of the overall design.
The purpose behind it is to allow the car to clear obstacles like speed bumps and steep curbs. I guess this is the cost of making a car more daily drivable, something that all grand tourers must be. Unlike the 720S, the GT gets exposed side air intakes that we saw in its camouflaged photos. Personally, I think they look really cool on every mid-engined car and the GT is no exception.
Coming towards the rear, the first things you’ll notice are the tail lights. They’re simple, horizontal LED strips that also act as turn signals. There’s no active rear spoiler. You do, however, get one built into the deck-lid. For a grand tourer, I must admit, the exhaust pipes are pretty prominent.
They’re finished in chrome and are fixed into the rear diffuser which, like the front splitter, is finished in gloss black. Also, like the front splitter, you can get it in carbon-fiber if you want to. Now, unlike most recent McLaren models, the rear hatch does open up. However, you still can’t access the engine as it’s hidden away under the massive storage shelf.
Once you get past the Butterfly doors and get inside, you’re bathed with the luxury of great tech and high-quality materials. Everything you touch feels nice, as it should in a grand tourer. The gauge cluster is a highly configurable 12.3″ screen like in most recent McLarens. Though it doesn’t flip like the one in the 720S. But then again, it doesn’t really need to.
In the center, you get a 7″ infotainment touchscreen. It has a portrait orientation like all other McLarens as well and the navigation software has been tweaked to be even better. The seats, as you’d expect, are comfort seats wrapped in stitched Nappa leather. My favorite interior feature is the optional Electrochromatic Glass Roof that can lighten or darken just by the press of a button.
I’ve mentioned earlier that the GT has a large rear shelf that can be accessed by the opening rear hatch. By large I mean that it, combined with the front trunk, has a total storage capacity of 570-liters, which is class-leading. Allow me to remind you that this is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive car that can go 203 mph that we’re talking about. I guess McLaren weren’t kidding when they said they’ll change the rules of grand touring.
The McLaren GT is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-plane V8 that produces 612 bhp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Yes, it’s the same engine that powers the 720S but is detuned to make less output. It is also calibrated to have a much linear power and torque curve to give you a smoother power delivery. The power is sent to the rear wheels through a 7-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic transmission.
The result of that is a 0-60 time of just 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 203mph. These numbers may seem contrary to what I said about this prioritizing comfort over performance. However, if you compare it to McLaren’s own 600LT and 720S from the Sport and Super Series restively, you’ll notice that the GT is a tad bit slower.
The performance cuts are not limited to straight-line speed. The GT won’t corner as well as its siblings due to much softer suspension setup. In fact, McLaren uses what’s called ProActive Damping Control. What it does is scan the road ahead for bumps and prepares the dampers in advance to give you the smoothest ride. This is similar to what Magic Body Control that Mercedes uses in its S-Class.
The GT comes standard with steel brakes. However, you can get the much lighter Carbon-ceramic as an option for better stopping performance. In case you’re wondering how well the GT stops, 62-0 happens in only 105 ft.
Price & Verdict
The McLaren GT starts at $210,000 which, seems to be a lot of money. However, you are getting a lot of car as well. Compared to its rivals, it offers the best value for money, giving you ample performance, luxury, and tech. While the Porsche 911 Turbo may be cheaper, it’s also less powerful and practical as compared to this. Let’s also not forget that it has 2 fewer cylinders.
I believe the McLaren GT is a wonderful car and a welcome addition to the McLaren lineup. For someone who needs to travel great distances in comfort while having the satisfaction of knowing that their right foot holds the power to go 203 mph, this is the car for you. Provided you have at least $210,000 to spare, of course.