The McLaren GT is Woking’s softer-but-still-scintillating continent-crushing long distance tourer. And in Australia, it’s almost a bargain at $399,995.
I’m not sure I’ve ever driven a McLaren – from the 540C to the 720S via all manner of 570S and got out thinking, “Hmm, this needs to be more comfortable.” Because McLarens are amazing in their own right, riding like no other sports car on earth.
Still, customers of high-end speed do like their driving. If you live in Europe or the US where driving isn’t considered as sinful as, say, spewing in your neighbour’s sock drawer, a long-distance tourer makes a lot of sense for McLaren.
This new car is calmer than its McLaren brethren, infused with Speedtail DNA (so the press release says) but staying true to McLaren ideals – fast and engaging.
What is it?
The McLaren GT is most likely the result of the rather appealing experiment that is the 570GT. That car is basically a 570S with a clever side-hinged glass hatch. Replacing the flying-buttress effect of the 570S, the hatch creates a space for bespoke luggage.
The GT is bigger, much bigger. There’s a new design direction, with lots of Speedtail in it. While the Sports Series cars are very much about showing off the aero and shapes, the GT is a more restrained, elegant and accommodates a more day-to-day experience.
The long hatch opens up over a fully-trimmed cargo bay that will take a few pieces of custom luggage (which is rather nice stuff, if you’re interested). Or you can ruin a good walk by taking your golf clubs. Or ensure you never walk again by taking yourself skiing.
The front boot (
All up, there’s 570 litres of cargo capacity, which is more than some family SUVs.
The front splitter won’t, er, split on kerbs because it’s high enough without the lift kit engaged, the interior is supposed to be much quieter than any other McLaren (to be honest, that’s not difficult, they’re noisy buggers).
The GT also has heated front seats, a 12 speaker Bowers and Wilkins stereo and some lovely aluminium trim and switchgear.
Being a McLaren it’s a) a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that b) you can’t see.
In the GT, the engine is 100mm lower than other McLarens, which helps with the luggage space. Despite a 1500kg-plus kerb weight, the McLaren GT will streak to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and 200km/h in nine seconds dead.
This kind of performance is courtesy of 456kW (620PS) and 630Nm, which isn’t messing about. As always, the seven-speed SSG transmission gets the power out the door.
How much and when?
The McLaren GT price starts at $399,995 before on-roads and custom luggage (and the usual long options list. Australian customers will start receiving their GTs in November 2019.
It’s cheaper than a Ferrari Portofino, if you’re interested…
Like McLaren? Watch my 570S video here.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.