Welcome the real-life grand touring supercar

Blurring the line between a supercar and a grand tourer, McLaren developed an all-new car appropriately called the GT. While retaining core McLaren principles such as a mid-engine layout and monocoque chassis, the McLaren GT provides a unique blend of luxury, refinement, and performance. It is the only mid-engine grand tourer on the market, and it could give us a whole new segment of luxury mid-engine cars. Remember, Ferrari is currently working on the new V-6 Hybrid. That may well be the luxury mid-engine GT relatively similar to the McLaren GT. However, it may end up being more powerful. Now, as the whole hype has calmed a bit, I give you most amazing quirks and facts about the new 2020 McLaren GT.

The 2020 McLaren GT Has a Large Luggage Capacity

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The McLaren GT has a rear luggage capacity of 420 liters and 150 liters in the frunk. That is more than what you get in a Ford Focus, Porsche 911 Turbo, or the Aston Martin DB11.

How did they do it?

In development for three years, the McLaren GT seems to have been designed with only one thing in mind - luggage capacity. In order to make a mid-engine car practical (somewhat), McLaren engineers crafted a unique rear architecture and rearranged engine components in order to provide enough room above the engine for a bag of golf clubs. In fact, many engine components had been moved outboard - to lower the intake plenum and to provide a neater arrangement of the trunk. Apart from this major engine redesign, designers and engineers extended the front end and the back end of the GT. In short, with almost 4.7 meters in length, the GT is the biggest production McLaren ever made.

The 2020 McLaren GT Has ProActive Damping Control That Predicts Future

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Every McLaren has track-focused suspension. After all, all of them are monsters with track-day in mind. However, the McLaren took a completely different approach with the GT suspension tuning. And it makes sense. This one needs to cross continents at warp speed and utmost comfort. You can’t do that with the 600LT. Maybe you can with the 570GT, but not with GT levels of sophistication.

That is why McLaren initialized a unique ProActive Damping control system. The McLaren GT is the first car from Woking to utilize this technology. It works something like this:

The system continually learns the road and predicts the unevenness on the surface even before the wheel comes to it.

Then, if needed, the dampers adjust appropriately to soak it up. Apparently, this technology completely transformed the way the McLaren GT drives. It is a mile-slashing cruiser - not a raw supercar. Adjusting damping response is a similar technology to the one Mercedes installs in its top-notch cars.

The 2020 McLaren GT’s Engine Is Linear

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The 4.0-liter, V-8 we know all about has been thoroughly modified to provide engine response and linear torque delivery expected of a grand touring car. This included changing the valves, creating a whole new exhaust system, and redesigning the intake plenum. Plus, I believe that this V-8 gained a wholly different ECU setup. This gave the GT some clear benefits including increased efficiency, characterful V-8 sound expected of a GT vehicle, and it was positioned 120 millimeters lower compared to the engine location in any other McLaren.

2020 McLaren GT drivetrain specifications
Engine configuration M840TE engine, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc
Drivetrain layout Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD
Power PS (bhp/kW) @ rpm 620 (612/456) @ 7,500rpm
Torque Nm (lb ft) @ rpm 630 (465) @ 5,500-6,500rpm
Transmission 7 Speed+reverse SSG. Comfort, Sport and Track modes
Steering Electro-hydraulic; power-assisted
Chassis Carbon fibre MonoCell II-T monocoque, with carbon fibre rear upper structure and aluminium crash structures front and rear
Suspension Double aluminium wishbone; independent adaptive dampers with Proactive Damping Control. Comfort, Sport and Track modes
Brakes Cast iron discs (367mm front; 354mm rear) and calipers (4-piston front & rear); Carbon ceramic discs with forged aluminium calipers optional
Wheels (inches) Front: 8J x 20; Rear: 10.5J x 21
Tyres Pirelli P ZERO™ Front: 225/35/R20; Rear: 295/30/R21
0-97km/h (0-60mph) 3.1 seconds
0-100km/h (0-62mph) 3.2 seconds
0-200km/h (0-124mph) 9.0 seconds
Maximum speed 326km/h (203mph)
200-0km/h (124mph–0) braking, metres (ft) 127.0 (417)
100–0km/h (62mph–0) braking, metres (ft) 32.0 (105)

The 2020 McLaren GT’s Clearance Is Almost The Same As The BMW 3 Series

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The 2020 McLaren GT's surface-to-floor height is 110 millimeters. With an optional lift-kit, the GT can raise an additional 30 millimeters.

This is considerably more compared to other McLaren cars, and it shows the intended purpose behind the McLaren GT. It will try to be the direct competitor to the 911 Turbo and an entirely usable vehicle on a daily basis. Even the 570GT had problems with continuous daily tasks. That is precisely why McLaren developed the GT.

With a lift kit and a generous clearance, the GT will go over speedbumps without scraping the splitters or the ground.

The 2020 McLaren GT is Based On Top Of The Monocell II-T Architecture

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McLaren’s monocoque architecture supports up to 12 models, and it sits as the basis for the McLaren GT.

To provide grand touring quality, McLaren modified the Monocell II architecture and called it - Monocell II-T. T for touring.

It is not dramatically changed, but some engineers did install thicker insulating material and changed the place of some linkages. This was needed to lower the noise in the interior and provide enough space for the integration of the all-new suspension setup.

The 2020 McLaren GT Is The Only Car That Can be Optioned With Cashmere Fabric Upholstery

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Apart from machined aluminum, semi-aniline leather on the dash, cool roof, and the Rolls-Royce quality finish, you can improve the minimalistic ambiance in the McLaren GT by adding cashmere fabric on the seats.

It is, probably, the first car in the world with seats upholstered with Cashmere wool.

I expected something like this. To use less leather in its vehicles, Range Rover actually offered the Velar and the new Evoque with luxury fabric upholstery. McLaren definitely follows this trend with Cashmere fabric.

The 2020 McLaren GT Comes Standard With a Bowers and Wilkins Sound System

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A Standard Bowers and Wilkins sound system in the McLaren GT may cost "only" $3,000, but it includes 12 speakers of the best possible sound quality.

Furthermore, if you find Bowers and Wilkins speakers underwhelming (you won’t), you can optionally order a carbon fiber subwoofer and Kevlar midrange speakers. Just for the sake of it.

The 2020 McLaren GT’s Cabin is 4 Decibels Quieter Than that of the Aston Martin DB11 and Porsche 911 Turbo

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With thicker insulating material on the monocoque architecture, an absolutely enclosed engine, and softer suspension, McLaren transformed a supercar cabin into a quiet, serene place. It is rather minimalistic, but that may be the point as we have seen with the Speedtail. McLaren compared sound levels inside the GT to the sound levels of the DB11, 911 Turbo, and Portofino. The results are staggering. the 2020 McLaren GT’s cabin is at least 4 decibels quieter compared to any other GT. Considering that the logarithmic scale presents decibels, I can tell you that 4 dBs less is huge.

The 2020 McLaren GT Comes Standard With an Electrochromic Panoramic Roof

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I had a chance to use the electrochromic panoramic roof inside the Mercedes two-seater a few years ago.

It is a fantastic achievement and never ceases to amaze me. McLaren included it on the GT as a piece of standard equipment.

Considering that the GT can never be a convertible, I believe that this solution provides a touch of class, modernity, and free spirit associated with convertibles.

You can change the opacity using a simple dial; the panoramic roof can go from fully transparent to almost entirely black.

Place Your Finger To a Touch-sensitive Surface And Open The Glovebox In The 2020 McLaren GT

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Located above the glovebox, the aluminum trim piece hides a small, round, and straightforward touch-sensitive surface that acts as a glowe box button. Details like this make the McLaren GT so appealing. It gives the air of modernity and sophistication associated with the advanced and expensive grand tourers.

The 2020 McLaren GT’s Dials Were Machined From Solid Pieces of Aluminum for a Jewelry-like Effect

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McLaren machined all dials from solid pieces of aluminum, making them look expensive and decorative.

Considering that the GT has to take over buyers from the likes of the astonishing Aston Martin DB11 or the Bentley Continental GT, then jewelry-like features are most welcomed.

The 2020 McLaren GT Has an Amazing Steering Wheel

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Well, it’s round and beautiful, look at it. For me, the steering wheel is the best single piece on the McLaren GT. While at the steering, let me tell you that McLaren dialed down the responsiveness of the steering rack to make it safer for high-speed highway runs.

The 2020 McLaren GT Is Kind of Hard To Get Into

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I feel that this is the single biggest problem for the McLaren GT.

Despite a slightly raised driving position (compared to 570GT and all others), the McLaren GT still has that wide and high rocker panel.

It is a necessity that comes from the monocoque construction. While this works fantastic for the mid-engine supercar nature of other McLaren cars, I cannot see, say, James Bond going over it to sit on cashmere seats. The other thing is that the doors are the same as on other McLaren cars. They open upward and at the highest point reach 1.9 meters. That is a lot, and it could be a problem on narrow or low car parks. Actually, the only thing about closing the doors that is "GTish" is its power-assisted final closing. That always looks awesome.

The 2020 McLaren GT Has No Driver Assistant Features

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You may find it strange, but this GT does not have any standard driving assistant features like lane assist, adaptive cruise, and all that jazz. I get it - the McLaren GT is a "driver’s car," and drivers have to drive it. Not robots. However, McLaren engineers consider adding the tech sometime in the future.

Conclusion

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McLaren engineered the effortless nature of the new GT by heavily modifying elements it already had in the parts bin. The gearbox is not brutal, but unintrusive (although still super fast), the engine is linear, the brakes are made from steel, and the cabin is quiet and serene, not raw and cruel. I do believe that this is an excellent car, but it is not defined. While it does look nice, I don’t see many buyers coming from an Aston Martin or Bentley showroom to buy it. Porsche 911 Turbo buyers? Well, that’s a different story. I think that McLaren wanted to create a usable daily driver with the GT precisely to beat the likes of the Porsche 911.

Further reading

2020 McLaren GT - Quirks And Facts
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Read our full review on the 2020 McLaren GT.

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

2017 McLaren 570GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the McLaren 570GT.

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