Introducing the new McLaren Grand Touring series, and the first car in the family, the appropriately named McLaren GT – it’s light, it’s fast, it can carry your golf bats, and it’s not really a GT…
McLaren has made a hell of a business case out of a single twin-turbocharged V8, going on to produce 20,000 cars since the first McLaren 12C rolled out of Woking in 2011. The milestone car was a Chicane Grey 600LT Spider, the range topping Sports Series model from the British supercar manufacturer.
So far McLaren has made use of its V8 in three classes of supercar, going on to the Super Series and the ultimate, um, Ultimate Series. Now the company has decided to go after Bentley and Rolls-Royce with its own twisted idea of a GT.
The first model in McLaren’s Grand Tourer product family offers 570 litres of cargo room, which is more than a Toyota Camry or Avalon with its rear seats up. The idea of the Grand Touring series is to offer customers the closest thing to an every-day supercar, so that’s where any mentions of Bentleys stop.
This elegantly named McLaren GT is still a mid-engined, carbon-fibre monocoque chassis supercar, putting 620 horsepower and 630Nm of torque down to the ground. The 4.0-litre engine provides performance competitive with the company’s own Super Series cars such as that 20,000th 600LT. In the GT, you can hit 326km/h and do zero to 200km/h in nine seconds flat.
In this dizzy land of burnt rubber and money, even the price is real-world, with the 2020 McLaren GT starting from about AED760,000 in its home market.
For that much change you get a car built around a unique monocoque exclusive to the Grand Touring series, that’s designed to open up a 420-litre cargo area behind the occupants. McLaren says you can stuff a pair of skis or a golf bag back there, with a further 150 litres available under the frunk.
Daily-driving comfort was the focus with the suspension, and the Brits were confident enough with the set-up to throw on huge, low-profile tyres over 21-inch wheels at the rear (the largest ever fitted to a McLaren), and 20-inch at the front. The GT also sits relatively high for a supercar, with 110mm of ground clearance which is almost the same as something like a BMW M3.
Inside the supercar that pretends it’s a GT, you get a lot of leather and knurled aluminium, as well as a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system. But true to form the sub-woofers are carbon fibre and Kevlar, which is a little touch that plays a big part in the GT’s weight figure – at 1,530kg the McLaren is a couple of hundred kilos lighter than rivals such as the Aston Martin DB11 and Ferrari GTC4.