When we think of McLaren, images of legendary racing cars and the ever-venerable McLaren F1 come to mind. Their line of production cars beginning from the MP4-12C further point towards their racing heritage with cutting-edge performance. Since they’re still an active racing team in Formula One, you would think then that luxury and comfort would be the last thing on McLaren’s mind – but you’d be wrong.
Part of their plan to expand their lineup by adding 18 models by 2025, the new McLaren GT takes Woking’s signature supercar architecture and shifts it towards an entirely new segment. If its name isn’t already indicative of its purpose, the GT serves to be McLaren’s new Grand Touring model.
Built for comfortable cross-country trips and covering long distances instead of shaving miliseconds at the track, the GT is a huge deviation from the usual McLaren recipe. While it shares its DNA with the Speedtail, the GT takes cues from other recent models like the 720S albeit with a subtle, streamlined approach.
Built around the carbon fiber MonoCell II-T Monocoque structure which provides stronger rigidity and reinforcement, the GT weighs just around 1,530 kilograms – a featherweight among grand tourers. Along with a new 4.0-liter version of their twin turbo V8 pushing 620 PS and 630 Nm of torque, the GT does away with 0 - 100 km/h in a brisk 3.2 seconds.
All that power would sound like it could tear the car apart with its harshness, but McLaren indicates that the engine supports used on the GT are only half as stiff as those on the 600LT to maintain comfort. One other detail of note regarding this motor is how McLaren explains the engine has more than 95 percent of its peak torque available between 3,000 and 7,250 rpm – certainly something that will help towards being able to carry the car’s weight easily.
Seeing as this is a car meant for long trips, the GT makes concessions for cargo space over displaying the powerplant over the rear glass. Instead, the glass tailgate houses a sizeable 420 liter space which is hunched over where the motor is supposed to be – meaning you won’t be able to tinker with the motor yourself. Matched with a 150 liter space in the boot up front, McLaren boasts that the GT has the most cargo space in its segment.
McLaren has geared the cabin completely towards comfort over long distances, with the seats tailored and custom fit with extra padding for the shoulders and back. An electrochromatic glass panel replaces the standard black carbon piece to enable light to penetrate the greenhouse without having to use a sunroof. Entertainment comes by way of a sophisticated infotainment system which sends audio to a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with carbon fiber subwoofer and Kevlar midrange speakers.
Suspension for the GT utilizes a revised version of the 720S’ Optimal Control Theory chassis. This system predicts the upcoming road surface with sensors and is able to adjust the damping of the vehicle within 2 miliseconds to compensate for undulations and bumps. Three active steering modes are also available to adjust the GT’s behavior to your taste - Comfort, Sport, and Track.
The McLaren GT is already available for order at McLaren dealerships, with orders expecting to be delivered by year’s end. The McLaren GT starts at $210,000 (about Php 11 million) without options.