McLaren has just unveiled its much-hyped new GT model, a lovely touring supercar that blends sporting design with some killer stats. The 570 GT clearly taught it a lot; not only about how you might go about doing such a auto, but also that the market for it already exists among its patrons.
But McLaren's made no secret about its expansion plans: It wants to crank out 6,000 cars a year by the mid-2020s, and to get there, it's going to need more accessible models like the new GT: Stylish, fast, comfortable, and capable of 21 miles per gallon on the highway.
The McLaren GT is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. More than 95 per cent of this torque is accessible between 3,000-7,250rpm.
Previewed by last week's teaser, the all-new McLaren GT was finally revealed today as the first true Grand Tourer in the McLaren family, alongside the existing Sports, Super and Ultimate Series. To focus on the crucial aspect of storage, the GT's MonoCell II-T monocoque features a carbon-fibre upper structure which paves the way for a 420-litre luggage area below the front-hinged tailgate. The model is a bit longer and more elegant than the other models from the brand.
The GT also gets a Here navigation and traffic information system. Many had tried the pretty 570GT from the Sports Series, McLaren's softer, roomier, more everyday toe-in-the-water GT exercise from 2016.
If you had to choose just one vehicle that could lug your skis and a bag full of clothes and blast across the country comfortably at speeds of up to 326km/h, it's unlikely you'd think of grabbing the keys to a McLaren. Custom electrically-adjusted seats get heating as standard, along with padding suited more to long-distance driving than track days. The spacious interior features Nappa leather trim, which can be upgraded to luxury leather or cashmere. The 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system is "the company's most sophisticated to date", McLaren said.
The suspension is a lightweight aluminium, double wishbone design paired with hydraulic dampers to deliver Proactive Damping Control.
Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, said: "The new McLaren GT combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a handsome body and true to McLaren's ethos of designing superlight cars with a clear weight advantage over rivals".
"Designed for distance, it provides the comfort and space expected of a Grand Tourer, but with a level of agility never experienced before in this segment". Despite this, the McLaren GT takes its inspiration from one of the best GTs-and indeed best Ferraris-of all time, the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB. However, the key focus on the GT has been on factors like ride comfort, practicality in terms of storage spaces inside the auto and everyday usability (in terms of ground clearance and day-to-day driving).
Inside the vehicle, McLaren says the interior has been designed "to delight on longer journeys, but with all the essentials for focused, high-performance driving; the seating position, location of controls and forward visibility are as important here as they are in any McLaren".