McLaren claims it has redefined Grand Touring with this, the new McLaren GT.
According to McLaren, the GT combines “competition levels of performance” with “continent-crossing capability.”
Performance is provided by McLaren’s familiar 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine. In the GT is serves up 612bhp and 465lb/ft of torque. That’s enough for a 0-62mph time of a scant 3.1secs and a top speed of 203mph.
The running gear – steering, suspension, brakes – are unique to the GT. What McLaren calls Proactive Damping Control makes its debut, as well. The system “reads” the road ahead and primes the suspension to react almost instantly to any imperfections in the road surface, providing a better ride quality and improved road holding.
Throughout, McLaren has focused on making the GT as refined and comfortable as possible, though apparently not at the expense of handling.
The GT uses a new version of McLaren’s MonoCage carbonfibre monocoque chassis with a modified upper rear section. That allows more glass to be used, including rear quarter windows and glazed C-pillars. It also frees up space for a class-leading luggage area.
Reached via a glazed tailgate, the 420 litre boot is about the same size as that of a smallish hatchback. According to McLaren, it’s long enough to accommodate 185cm-long skis – or, perhaps more relevantly, a golf bag.
There’s an additional 150 litres of space under the front bonnet, for a total of 570 litres of storage. Which should be enough to carry luggage for a couple of weeks’ holiday.
Inside, there’s a pair of seats unique to the GT and McLaren’s most sophisticated infotainment system yet, complete with HERE navigation. There’s extra sound insulation – carbon chassis tend to be a bit noisy. The ground clearance has been set to make urban driving easier – there’s a nose-lift, as well. And the steering and brakes have tuned for easier modulation at city speeds.
Wheels are 20in at the front and 21in at the rear, wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero rubber.
The McLaren GT is on sale now, priced from £163,000. Deliveries will start later this year.
We’ll take ours in blue, thank you.
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By Graham King