Is the new GT a big improvement?

The McLaren GT is the company’s take on the grand tourer segment. But unlike grand tourers from carmakers like Aston Martin, Bentley, and Mercedes-Benz, the GT features a mid-engined layout. As wild as it may sound, the GT isn’t the first mid-engined grand tourer from McLaren. It follows in the footsteps of the 570GT, a 570S with luggage room atop the engine that was introduced in 2016. Is the new GT a notable improvement over the 570GT? Let’s find out!

Design

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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The newer GT doesn’t stray too far from McLaren’s current design language

Although they were launched more than three years apart, the GT and 570GT share many design features. The newer GT doesn’t stray too far from McLaren’s current design language so we can see many common features up front. The nose and the front hood have a similar shape, while the bumper is of the same three-piece variety. Granted, the GT’s headlamps are much narrower, but the character line on the outer edge hints to the curved headlamps of the 570GT.

The similarities between the two continue around sides. Sure, you could argue that the GT and 570GT have significantly different rear fender vents and character lines, but the overall shape is there. The GT is a bit longer, but we’ll talk about that later. The main feature that sets the GT apart are the rear fenders and vents. The former is more muscular, a traditional feature for grand tourers, while the vents are taller, stretching from the side skirts all the way up to the beltline. The rear deck is longer too, so the GT looks a bit sleeker than the 570GT.

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The GT is a unique design, whereas the 570GT is actually a 570S with some revisions to its rear section

The two GTs don’t have too many features in common around back. While the 570GT has arched taillights, the GT sports thin horizontal units. McLaren ditched the body panels that cover the 570GT central fascia, opting for a honeycomb mesh. The lower section also looks milder on the GT. While the 570GT has a race-inspired diffuser with vertical slats and exhaust pipes placed at the corners, the GT sports a more traditional layout. The bumper is clean and simple, the diffuser is much smaller, while the exhaust pipes are mounted closer to the center. The GT looks like a full-fledged grand tourer, which is a premiere for an automaker like McLaren.

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Another key difference between the two is the fact that the GT is a unique design, whereas the 570GT is actually a 570S with some revisions to its rear section. This is also the reason why McLaren designed the GT. It wanted a stand-alone nameplate for this niche instead of a slightly more practical version of the existing Sports Series.

As far as dimensions go, the GT is a tad bigger than the 570GT. At 184.4 inches long, it’s six inches longer than the 570GT. The wheelbase remains about the same at a little over 105 inches, as does the width at 82.5 inches. Due to its special suspension tuning for enhanced comfort in the city, the GT sits a half-inch higher from the ground.

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Luggage Room

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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The GT's trunk is rated at 14.8 cubic feet, seven cubic feet more than the 570GT

The GT may have a more modern interior with a bespoke infotainment system and comfort features, but the two cars have a similar trunk design. Due to the mid-engined layout, McLaren had to design a special luggage compartment atop the engine, under a glass lid that works like a front-hinged tailgate. This design doesn’t seem very spacious at first glance, but it’s actually very practical for short trips.

The good news is that McLaren managed to increase this storage compartment for the GT compared to the 570GT. The latter can swallow 7.8 cubic feet of luggage, while the GT’s trunk is rated at 14.8 cubic feet. That’s an extra seven cubic feet so the GT can take almost double the amount you can squeeze in the 570GT. You can use that space to carry a golf bag or two pairs of skis, but can also stick a few smaller bags in there. Impressive enough, the McLaren GT’s trunk is actually a bit more spacious than sedans like the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, and Kia Optima.

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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The front trunk compartment is notably smaller at only 5.3 cubic feet

Unlike the 570GT, the GT can be ordered with a SuperFabric cover in the trunk. That’s a woven fabric infused with a layer of tiny armored guard plates, which increases resistance to stains, cuts, nicks, and abrasions. It’s also easier to clean once it’s stained.

Just like the 570GT, the GT also has some storage space under the front hood. But this compartment is notably smaller at only 5.3 cubic feet. This rating is actually identical to the 570GT, so I suspect that McLaren used a similar layout under the lid. The front-lid compartment takes the GT’s total luggage capacity up to 20.1 cubic feet, seven cubic feet more than the 570GT. That’s also more than a handful of full-size sedans out there, including the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it’s not as practical because it’s split into different compartments. Still, the McLaren GT is by far the most practical mid-engined sports car on the market right now.

Performance

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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The 4.0-liter in the GT cranks out 612 horses and 465 pound-feet of torque

Both the 570GT and GT are powered by V-8 engines, but the mills aren’t the same. The 570GT features the older 3.8-liter unit that McLaren used in all of its cars until it launched the 720S. This sports car debuted with a revised version of the engine that grew bigger to 4.0 liters. As a result, it’s more powerful too.

The 570GT hits the asphalt with 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, an output that’s identical to the sports car it is based on, the 570S. The 4.0-liter in the GT cranks out 612 horses and 465 pound-feet of torque. While it’s notably less powerful than the 720S equipped with the same engine, the GT benefits from an extra 50 horsepower and 22 pound-feet compared to the 570GT.

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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The GT needs 3.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing, two tenths quicker than the 570GT

That’s a significant increase, but at the same time, the GT is heavier than the 570GT. The new grand tourer tips the scales at 3,232, while the 570GT is 256 pounds lighter at 2,976 pounds. But despite the heavier curb weight, the GT is notably quicker than the 570GT. The grand tourer needs 3.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing, two tenths quicker than its predecessor. Its top speed is equally impressive at 203 mph, one mph less than the 570GT.

Both cars feature McLaren’s race-inspired, seven-speed SSG automatic transmission.

Also, both cars have tweaked suspension setups for a more comfortable ride. However, while the 570GT is essentially a 570S with a softer suspension, the GT was designed to act and feel like a full-fledged grand tourer. It rides higher, it has specific steering and brake setups and features hydraulic dampers.

McLaren GT vs. McLaren 570GT
McLaren GT McLaren 570GT
Engine configuration 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc V8 Twin Turbo
Power PS (bhp/kW) @ rpm 612 HP @ 7,500 RPM 562 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Torque Nm (lb ft) @ rpm 465 LB-FT @ 5,500-6,500 RPM 443 LB-FT @ 5,000-6,500 RPM
Transmission 7 Speed+reverse SSG 7 Speed SSG
0-100km/h (0-62mph) 3.2 seconds 3.4 seconds
0-200km/h (0-124mph) 9.0 seconds 9.8 seconds
Maximum speed 326km/h (203mph) 204 mph

Final Words

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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Having a run through these specs, it’s safe to say that the GT is a notable improvement over the 570GT. Not only faster and more powerful, but it also features a more comfortable interior, better tech, and it actually rides like a grand tourer. It also comes with extra features all over the place, including finer materials and even a cashmere upholstery options. More importantly, the trunk section is almost twice as big as the 570GT’s, which makes the GT the most practical grand tourer on the market.

Further reading

McLaren GT vs McLaren 570GT
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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.

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

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