The McLaren GT Takes the Grand Touring Philosophy to a Whole New Level
This mid-engined sports car has as much trunk space as a sedanby Ciprian Florea, on
In a somewhat surprising move, McLaren announced plans to build a mid-engined grand tourer that’s more powerful and more practical than the 570GT. Design as a stand-alone nameplate offered alongside the Sports, Super, and Ultimate Series models, the mid-engined grand tourer was just unveiled as the McLaren GT. The British firm says that the GT will redefine the rules of grand touring. But is it more than just fancy PR talk? Let’s find out!
The McLaren GT looks unique yet familiar
The GT's design borrows heavily from other McLaren vehicles, including the 720S and even the Senna
Despite the GT badge, this McLaren looks very familiar. That’s because it borrows heavily from other McLaren vehicles, including the 720S and even the Senna. The front fascia reminds me of the 720S, as it has the same pointy nose and a similar bumper. But the GT’s apron isn’t as aggressive, featuring a smaller splitter, a revised center vent, and side intakes pushed farther toward the wheels, like on a more conventional car. The headlamps are thinner and share their design with the 570GT.
From the sides, the GT is boasts big vents in the rear fenders, just like the Senna, but the side skirts have a unique design with a character line that ascends toward the back. The rear fenders are decidedly more muscular than other McLaren, a traditional feature for grand tourers. The GT is also longer than any McLaren in the Sports and Super Series. At over 180 inches long, the GT is at least three inches longer than the 570S and at least two inches longer than the 720S. Granted, it’s not much, but the extra inches make the GT the third longest McLaren, after the Speedtail and Senna.
Underbody clearance is rated at 5.1 inches with vehicle lift, which is very similar to sedans
The rear fascia looks rather conventional when compared to other McLaren’s. There a big integrated spoiler at the top, while the extremely thin taillights are integrated into a fine mesh that stretches the entire width of the car. The rear bumper is definitely sporty, but it no longer has that race-inspired look with the big diffuser and center-mounted exhaust pipes. The layout is much simpler, with vents on the sides, a pair of exhaust pipes pushed farther apart than usual, and a mild diffuser with small vertical slats.
The 10-degree approach angle at the front is yet another feature that sets the GT apart from other McLaren’s. The angle increases to 13 degrees when the car’s lift mode is engaged. The GT also rides higher than any other McLaren. Underbody clearance is rated at 4.3 inches in standard setup and 5.1 inches with vehicle lift, which is very similar to sedans. You’ll no longer have to worry about running over those pesky speed bumps in the city.
|Length, mm (inches)||4,683 (184.4)|
|Wheelbase, mm (inches)||2,675 (105.3)|
|Height, mm (inches)||1,213 (47.8)|
|Width, with mirrors, mm (inches)||2,095 (82.5)|
|Width, mirrors folded, mm (inches)||2,045 (80.5)|
|Track (to contact patch centre), mm (inches)||Front: 1,671 (65.8); Rear: 1,663 (65.5)|
|Lightest dry weight, kg (lbs)||1,466 (3,232)|
|DIN Kerb weight [fluids + 90% fuel], kg (lbs)||1,530 (3,373)|
|US Curb weight [fluids + 100% fuel] lbs (kg)||3,384 (1,535)|
|Weight distribution (% Front/Rear)||42.5/57.5|
|Fuel tank capacity, litres (UK/USA gallons)||72 (15.8/19)|
|Luggage capacity, litres||570 (Front: 150; Rear: 420)|
The McLaren GT’s interior is a brand-new concept
it's pretty obvious that McLaren wanted the GT's interior to look more like a traditional grant tourer
Ever since it rolled out the F1, McLaren designed its car interiors with clean, simple lines, and driver-oriented features. The GT is no exception from this rule, but it’s not as aggressive as the 720S and the Senna. Looking at the simple dashboard and the minimal center stack, it’s pretty obvious that McLaren wanted the GT’s interior to look more like a traditional grand tourer rather than a full-fledged sports car. And this is a good thing, as it places the GT in a league of its own.
As a grand tourer, the GT is packed with luxury features. Nappa leather trim comes standard, but you can order soft-grain luxury leather or Alcantara. The GT is also the first production vehicle to offer cashmere upholstery, which will become available toward the end of 2019. The soft materials are complemented by machined and knurled aluminum switches and controls, steering wheel gearshift paddles, and gloss-black trim. The Bowers & Wilkins audio system features carbon-fiber subwoofers and Kevlar mid-range drive units, items you can’t order with other production cars.
The seats were designed specifically for the GT with more comfort in mind.
They’re electrically adjustable and heated, as well as optimized for long-distance comfort with enhanced shoulder and back support. The infotainment system is unique, as well. Accessible through a vertical seven-inch display, it features the latest Here navigation mapping, real-time traffic information, and voice activation. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster features aircraft-inspired graphics.
The McLaren GT has plenty of luggage room
The GT has more luggage room than a Hyundai Sonata and almost as much as a Toyota Camry
McLaren modified its MonoCell II monocoque to include a carbon-fiber rear upper structure that creates storage room above the mid-mounted engine and below the front-hinged tailgate. This space can hold 14.8 cubic feet of luggage, which can include a golf bag or two pairs of skis. That’s more luggage room than a Hyundai Sonata and almost as much as a Toyota Camry. The McLaren GT falls short by only one cubic foot compared to sedans like the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, and Kia Optima. This compartment is covered in SuperFabric, a woven fabric infused with a layer of tiny armored guard plates for increased resistance to stains, cuts, nicks, and abrasions.
Compared to the McLaren 570GT, the GT offers an extra seven cubic feet of space.
A further 5.3 cubic feet of storage room is available under the front hood, which means that the McLaren GT can accommodate a total of 20.1 cubic feet. The front trunk is identical to the 570GT, which can also hold 5.3 cubic feet of luggage. That’s as much as the Ford Taurus, but the fact that it’s split into two trunks doesn’t make it as useful. Still, it’s notably more than the competition.
The McLaren GT is lightweight and powerful
The twin-turbo mill generates 612 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of twist
Thanks to McLaren’s carbon-fiber structure, the McLaren GT tips the scales at only 3,232 pounds. This weight makes it more than 286 pounds lighter than its closest core competitor, but McLaren doesn’t mention a specific car. For reference, the GT is almost 100 pounds lighter than the Ferrari 812 Superfast, a front-engined grand tourer. At the same time, it’s almost 400 pounds heavier than the 720S.
The good news is that the McLaren GT hides a powerful 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood. The twin-turbo mill generates 612 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of twist. It’s not as powerful as the 720S, which cranks out an extra 98 horsepower and 103 pound-feet, but it delivers more than the 570GT. Specifically, the GT benefits from an extra 50 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque. The unit mates to the company’s already familiar seven-speed SSG automatic transmission.
|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|
|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 sprint to 60 mph takes 3.1 seconds, four tenths slower than the 720S
The GT is quick too. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3.1 seconds, four tenths slower than the 720S, but two tenths quicker than the 570GT. Its top speed is rated at 203 mph, one mph slower than the 570GT.
But while it might not be as quick as McLaren’s finest, the GT stands out as a full-fledged grand tourer when it comes to ride and handling. The suspension, steering, and brakes were designed specifically for this car and optimized to provide a grand tourer-like driving experience. In short, McLaren says it’s the most comfortable car it has built so far. Highlights include an aluminum suspension system, hydraulic dampers, and optimized software from the 720S.
|McLaren GT||McLaren 720S||McLaren 570GT|
|Engine configuration||4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc||4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8||V8 Twin Turbo|
|Power PS (bhp/kW) @ rpm||612 HP @ 7,500 RPM||710 HP @ 7,500 RPM||562 HP @ 7,500 RPM|
|Torque Nm (lb ft) @ rpm||465 LB-FT @ 5,500-6,500 RPM||568 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM||443 LB-FT @ 5,000-6,500 RPM|
|Transmission||7 Speed+reverse SSG||7 Speed SSG||7 Speed SSG|
|0-100km/h (0-62mph)||3.2 seconds||2.8 seconds||3.4 seconds|
|0-200km/h (0-124mph)||9.0 seconds||7.8 seconds||9.8 seconds|
|Maximum speed||326km/h (203mph)||212 mph||204 mph|
The McLaren GT is a bit more affordable than other McLarens
The McLaren GT comes in at $210,000 in the United States. And that’s notably less than I expected this car to be. My predictions placed the GT at over $300,000, but it turns out that this grand tourer is only a tad more expensive than the 570GT, which retails from $200,000. Compared to the Speedtail, which starts from more than $2 million, the McLaren GT is a bargain.
Read our full review on the 2020 McLaren GT.
Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.
Read our full review on the McLaren 570GT.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider