Carbon fiber supercars are fun, but only a few enthusiasts would consider them for a road trip. McLaren made waves when they added a hatchback version of the 570 series, and customers responded with open arms. Seeing a need for a more practical model, work began on a true luxury Grand Tourer. After years in development, meet the new McLaren GT.
Starting with a clean sheet, their goals were to improve comfort and offer world-class cargo space. A new chassis was based on the MonoCell II. Adapting it for travel required a new roofline and structure to support the hatch. MonoCell II-T sets it apart from all other models. To make sure it offers a plush interior, the GT borrows the same high-quality materials found in the upcoming Speedtail.
Because the chassis is incredibly strong, engineers were able to dial back the suspension stiffness. Sensors scan the road ahead, and adjust the shocks accordingly. The new Proactive Damping Control has three levels, Comfort, Sport and Track. It is also their highest vehicle to-date, giving ample room for speed bumps and heinous driveway connectors. With the front suspension raised, the approach angle is 13 degrees, far better than American muscle cars.
A focus on low-speed maneuvering prompted the brake response and hydraulic power steering to have a more traditional feel. Under the rear hatch is a whopping 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Enough for plenty of groceries, golf clubs, or luggage for your journey. It is complimented by an additional 5.3 cubic feet under the hood for a total of 20.1
In order to make this possible, a de-tuned version of the Senna’s 4.0L twin turbo V8 was mounted very low. You will hardly believe that 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque are hidden beneath the package tray. Taking more inspiration from the Speedtail, the roof is electrochromatic and the rear pillars are glazed Gorilla glass. Nappa leather is standard, and Alcantara is an optional upgrade. Cashmere will be available later this year, for a small surcharge.
Insulation abounds inside and out, and it starts with softer motor mounts. In addition to routing the exhaust under the car, low frequency sounds have been eliminated. The audio you want comes from a 12-speaker system by Bowers & Wilkins. They have adopted carbon fiber for the subs, and Kevlar for the mids and tweeters. Invoking the accelerator will drown them out as you reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and 124 mph in 9.0. With a top speed of 203 mph, it is a perfect contender for a Cannonball Run.
Has McLaren gone soft? We don’t think so, this is just a great opportunity to build something for everyone. Your McLaren dealer is taking orders, and deliveries are slated for the end of the year. The price you pay to have the best of both worlds is only $210,000, and it is a bargain for what you will experience. This one truly intrigues us, so stay with us for all your McLaren GT updates.
P.S. The GT must be aimed at Americans because it has a center console, arm rest and even a cup holder- what an age to be alive!