Cars 

2019 McLaren GT Debuts

The spanking new* McLaren GT has made its digital debut. After a medium-length tease campaign, Woking has whipped off the covers of yet another of the Track25 business plan.

The supercar maker dipped its toe in the comfy GT water with the really rather good 570GT. The company dialled back on the harder edges of the 570S and even gave it a wacky side-hinged hatchback. It seemed to go well so a more focussed…if that makes any sense…GT car went into development.

Then it chucked itself into volcano with the very limited and hugely expensive Speedtail.

What is it?

The Grand Tourer is far more sensibly-priced and will, McLaren hopes, a new type of buyer to the brand. Meant to be “more engaging” than a traditional GT while still going really fast around corners.

As ever, the car is based on McLaren’s two-seat Monocell architecture, in this case Monocell II-T (T for Touring). The -T bit incorporates a structure on which the new tailgate can fit – that’s why the 570’s was side-hinged. Under this tailgate you can fit skis or…ugh…golf clubs.

Look and Feel

The GT introduces a new design direction for McLaren. The new headlights are slimmer, like the Speedtail’s, and the new rear lights are really cool. I sincerely doubt the photos are doing the car justice so I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen more shots in real light.

There is a bit more obvious aero on the new car, but the doors are conspicuously less shapely the 570 and 720.

Inside is pretty standard McLaren, though.

The 7.0-inch touchscreen still goes the wrong way, so no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The company’s obsession with fitting a massive sunroof makes me want to put a hat and sunscreen on just looking at it. The chairs are a dead giveaway – much less aggressive, more cuddly seats for those cross-continent blasts that wealthy people actually do in jets.

McLaren says you can upgrade the leather inside and really, MSO will do whatever you want.

Total storage is 570 litres, which includes the front boot and that enclosed rear deck.

McLaren says the engineering team has re-jigged the chassis to stop “structure-borne” noise from getting into the cabin. The car also rides a little higher for urban usability and to cope with the most “aggressive traffic-calming measures.” If it tackles my front driveway without scraping, you’ll know it’s done right.

Drivetrain

McLaren’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 457kW (620PS) and 630Nm. Which is, of course, a lot, although to be fair, that’s what BMW’s S64 manages in the M5 Competition (plus a bit more). The McLaren is way, way lighter, though.

The engine mounts are half as stiff as in the other cars, meaning less noise.

With a kerb weight of 1530kg and the usual seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, the GT will 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 3.2 seconds, 0-200km/h (0-124mph) in 9 seconds and reach 324km/h (203mph).

Woosh.

Chassis

The Monocell II-T rolls on 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rears, with 225/35 and 295/30 respectively, P-Zeros of course.

As always, double-wishbones all-round and McLaren’s ProActive damping control with three modes keep everything off the ground.

Like the 570GT, the brakes are steel as standard, with carbon ceramics optional. On the road, you’ll probably not notice the steels. They’re big and they work on the 570.

McLarens ride amazingly already, but the company says they’ve paid more attention to providing a compliant ride. Lucky it’s so fast because it would lull you to sleep if the ride were any better than a 570GT.

How much and when?

We’ve only got UK pricing, which is £163,000. You can put your deposit down now (they’ve probably already sold a few) and you can have the car sometime after Goodwood.

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