Nine Things We Know About The New 2020 McLaren GT Before Its Unveiling

McLaren will introduce the 2020 McLaren GT on May 15th, 2019 at a dedicated event Scheduled for online streaming. The McLaren GT will rewrite grand touring rules by combining a mid-engine layout, the agile nature of lightweight chassis, and an eager turbocharged V-8 with the luxury, composure, and sophistication no McLaren offers to date. While the Brits have managed to keep things under wraps, I did find out several exceptional details about the new 2020 McLaren GT. It will be a groundbreaking machine.

The 2020 McLaren GT Will Have a Conventional Two-seat Layout Up Front

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Interior
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Some rumors suggested that McLaren will go all berserk with the new Grand Tourer, aptly named, the GT, and install three seats in it. Something similar to the McLaren F1, and more recently, McLaren Speedtail. Company officials denied this.

In fact, I was sure this would not be the case even when I heard about the new McLaren at the Geneva Motor Show two months ago.

2019 McLaren Speedtail Interior
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See, the McLaren Speedtail actually cannot follow strict safety requirements of some markets (including the U.S. market) due to its three-seat layout.

The only way you can import the vehicle in the U.S. is under the special "Show Car" rule which gives you a permit to drive it 2,500 miles per year. Of course, only a handful will do that with the Speedtail, so it does not even matter. It would, however, matter a lot if the McLaren GT had three seats. That would cut off the McLaren GT from its most endowed market and basically make it financially unsound. So, while my emotions held some hope that McLaren will invest heavily into the development of safety solutions that would make a three-seat layout pass safety regulations, my brain sent different signals.

The first proper McLaren Grand Tourer will be a conventional two-seater.

Yet, that, and four wheels, is, more or less, the only conventionality you will be able to find on this Grand Tourer.

With it, the McLaren will create a whole new segment of rear mid-engine grand tourers. Something no one did for a long time (aside from Bugatti). I could say that before Ferrari worked on the idea with the likes of the mid-engine Mondial 2+2 and the Testarossa.

The 2020 McLaren GT Shares Some Of The McLaren Speedtail DNA

2019 McLaren Speedtail Exterior
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Announcing the upcoming 2020 McLaren GT at the Geneva Motor Show, McLaren Ceo, Mike Flewit, said that the Grand Tourer would have some of the Speedtail’s DNA. He was not specific, but I think I can shed some light on this, though.
See, the Speedtail, while extremely fast, is not only about speed and track worthiness. It is an extreme representation of the grand tourer. Its shape is finely tailored to provide the smoothest movement through the air, and its cabin offers some amazing luxury ambiance.

In some way, I think that the new 2020 McLaren GT will share this abundance of comfort, luxury, sophistication, and glamour.

Only in a more affordable package.
I do believe that some stuff from the Speedtail could fit in the 2020 GT without massive investment on McLaren’s part. I am talking about the roof mounted transmission and window switches, seats with special leather perforation, and an absurd amount of screens. I would not be surprised if McLaren translates some of these things from the Speedtail to the 2020 McLaren GT.

The 2020 McLaren GT Is The Lightest, Quickest, And The Most Agile Car In Its Class

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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Flewitt from McLaren said this about the 2020 McLaren GT:
“It’s a car that has been designed for distance and one that will also provide the comfort and space expected of a Grand Tourer. But with a level of agility never experienced before in this segment."

He also added that the 2020 McLaren GT is the lightest, quickest, and the most agile car in its class, with the best power-to-weight ratio. This got me thinking - what the heck does this mean - and I tried to calculate how quick, how fast, and how powerful the 2020 McLaren GT really is.

So, I compiled a list of all significant grand tourers of today and found out about their power, power-to-weight ratio, and performance. This is what I got:

Drivetrain Specifications Comparison
Aston Martin DB11 Bentley Continental GT Ferrari GTC4Lusso Ferrari Portofino
Engine 5.2-liter V-12 6.0-liter W-12 6.3-liter V-12 3.9-liter V-8
Horsepower 600 626 690 592
Torque (lb-ft) 516 664 514 561
0-62 MPH (sec) 3.9 3.6 3.4 3.5
Top Speed (mph) 200 207 208 199
Curb Weight (lbs) 4,134 4,947 3,946 3,406
Power-to-Weight (w:h) 6.88:1 7.94:1 5.73:1 5.73:1

As you can see, the McLaren GT has to win over all of the magnificent machines I presented here. Considering it is based around the monocoque chassis, and that it carries a lightweight body (Flewitt’s words), I firmly believe that its weight will be lower compared to the lightest car here - the Portofino (3,406 pounds), but a bit higher compared to the McLaren 570GT (3,314 pounds).

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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Considering that we are aiming for a better power-to-weight ratio than 2.6kg/hp, then I have deduced that the engine in the 2020 McLaren GT has to develop at least 610 horsepower. I can imagine the 2020 McLaren GT with a 640 horsepower engine too. In that case, its 0-62mph time would slip into a supercar territory of 3.1 or 3.2 seconds.

I know that some of you would like me to include the DBS Superleggera and the 812 Superfast in this comparison, but the rumored price of the McLaren GT clearly shows that it should not play on that level.

The 2020 McLaren GT’s Trunk Capacity Is Big Enough For Two Golf Clubs and 6-Foot Skis

2017 McLaren 570GT High Resolution Exterior
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As seen with the 570GT, McLaren has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to creating cargo capacity in its supercars.

In the case of the 570GT, the Brits made a special hatch from the rear windshield giving unique access to the cargo space behind the seats and on the back shelf.

Considering the swept-back shape of the rear windshield on the GT, I can only imagine that McLaren will use the same trick for it too. In the front, however, the GT has unusually long overhangs. It is a space for the frunk.

Still, I am not sure how McLaren plans to offer enough space for 6 feet long skis. It’s promised, however, and I can not wait to see how McLaren plans to deliver.

The 2020 McLaren GT’s V-8 Engine Has a Novel Cooling System

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Drivetrain
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The large intakes on the sides, vents below the B pillar, and the rather massive rear windshield tells us that McLaren changed a bit the packaging of its V-8 engine. After all, it is widely accepted that McLaren will install its 4.0-liter V-8 in the GT. However, due to a bit more subdued styling, elegant and clean lines, and need for more cargo space, the McLaren V-8 in the back needed different solutions to access all the air it needs.

I am sure that air intakes and radiators are completely repositioned and even redesigned to provide needed air access for the cooling and combustion needs. It may be that those strange slits (vents) under the B pillar act as heat extractors.

2020 McLaren GT Active Aerodynamics

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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While focused on comfort, luxury, and grand touring, the McLaren GT did not forget it is a sports car with supercar-like performance. After all, some drivers will definitely try it out on the track.

That is why the McLaren decided to include a rather cool rear decklid spoiler, clearly sharp splitters in the front, and a neatly hidden but large diffuser in the back.

The driver can control some of the features, but the experiences showed that the active aero works best under the rule of programming.

Nevertheless, we have to wait to see the official reveal to get to know all the details about the exterior characteristics of the McLaren GT.

The 2020 McLaren GT has a Bright, Spacious, and Uncluttered Interior

2019 McLaren Speedtail
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I expect a completely different approach to the interior design of the new McLaren GT compared to any McLaren to date. As my colleague noted, the cabin will be "spacious, uncluttered," and, I might add, probably bright with large white surfaces. Actually, it will be a continuation of what we have seen in the Speedtail.

This leads me to larger infotainment screens and sizeable digital instrument cluster.

MSO is a definite candidate to offer numerous luxury options garnishing the interior with high-end and valuable materials. All of this is essential if the McLaren GT aims to steal some buyers from Aston Martin dealerships.

2020 McLaren GT Will Attract New Customers

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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According to McLaren CEO Mike Flewit, the 2020 McLaren GT has a critical mission to accomplish - attract new customers to the brand.

McLaren plans to produce 500 units this year, and I find it curious that Flewitt, when talking about the potential Californian market for the car, said, "The BMW i8 is a huge success in California as it fits their roads and lifestyles, so yes we see our new car helping build brand awareness in the US."

Does McLaren aim at wealthy BMW buyers? Heck, the McLaren GT wants to steal some of the buyers from BMW dealerships. This is huge!

Nevertheless, production of 500 units in a year is about 10 percent of all production capacity at McLaren.

I find that surprising as McLaren also produces the popular 570S and 720S (among others). With such a production capacity and other available info (including rumors), I think I figured out the price of the 2020 McLaren GT.

2020 McLaren GT Price

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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The McLaren GT will be a bit more expensive compared to the well-equipped McLaren 570S Spider. I would set its price at about $250,000. After all, McLaren does not have a proper streetcar in that price bracket. Yes, the 600LT’s price is $256,000, but that is a unique, raw, and intimidating machine. Not a smoothly fast, luxury tourer.

In fact, if I exclude the 600LT from the equation, the price difference between the 570S, and the next McLaren supercar - the 720S - is almost $100,000. There’s space for something like this in there!

Further reading

Everything We Know About the Upcoming 2020 McLaren GT
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 McLaren GT.

2019 McLaren Speedtail Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Speedtail.

2019 McLaren 600LT Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.

2019 McLaren 600LT Spider Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider.

2019 McLaren 720S Spider Exterior Interior
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Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

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

Meet the 2019 McLaren Senna – Track-Going Evil With a Hunger For the Road Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Will Debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.

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