McLaren's new Grand Touring model sits outside of Sports, Super and Ultimate series, with luxury and comfort the focus
4 July 2019

The new McLaren GT, on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, will “redefine the rules of Grand Touring”, according to the firm.

The new model is so distinct from McLaren’s existing line-up of Sports, Super and Ultimate Series models that the Woking brand has positioned it in its own category. It’s said to revive the spirit of “traditional Grand Touring - long distance driving in comfort, at higher speeds and with room for luggage”. 

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However, McLaren also claims that it is lighter, faster and more engaging than any existing products in the GT segment.

Measuring 4.68m long and 2.09m wide, the GT is McLaren’s largest model on sale (excluding the sold-out Speedtail), and targets everything from the Aston Martin DB11 to the Bentley Continental GT. McLaren claims that, at 1530kg, it’s more than 130kg lighter than its “closest core competitor”.

Much of this is thanks to the McLaren’s carbon fibre monocoque, dubbed ‘MonoCell II-T’ in the GT as it incorporates a new rear upper stucture. This allows for the most luggage space of any McLaren to date: a 420-litre space below a soft-close rear tailgate combines with a further 150-litres of storage at the front - a best-in-class combined capacity. The firm claims it has enough load length to carry two pairs of 185cm skis.

As well as offering segment-leading space, McLaren has optimised the design for long-distance comfort. The strong carbon structure means that the C-pillars are glazed and rear quarter windows feature, improving visibility and cabin ambience. It still retains the trademark dihedral doors, however. 

The interior combines McLaren’s focused, minimalist approach with a raft of new luxury touches. Seats unique to the GT, both electrically adjustable and heated, are said to offer the perfect balance between support and long-distance comfort. A new, faster and more advanced infotainment system features, with the latest HERE navigation software and heating and ventilation controls now incorporated into the touchscreen. Further features include hidden ambient lighting, a Bowers and Wilkins sounds system and the option of a new electrochromic roof panel that can darken and light up at the press of a button. Cashmere upholstery will even be offered later this year; a production car first. 

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McLaren’s familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 powers the GT, offering 612bhp, 465lb ft of torque and a power-to-weight ratio of just under 400bhp-per-tonne - the least of any McLaren on sale. 0-60mph still comes up in 3.1secs, however, while 0-124mph takes nine seconds and it will hit 203mph flat-out. 

A vital part of the GT's appeal is said to be its balance of traditional McLaren dynamic prowess with newfound levels of comfort and refinement. Work to reduce vibations and noise from the stiff structure, including softer engine mounts and increased sound insulation, ensure McLaren can claim it as the most refined model it's ever built. 

The GT's suspension, like the steering and brakes, is said to be unique to any other McLaren. It makes use of hydraulic dampers  and sophisticated control software, dubbed Proactive Damping Control, that takes input from sensors 'reading' the road, allowing the suspension to react to what's ahead in just two miliseconds. Comfort mode is claimed to offer "a particularly compliant ride".  Hydraulic steering is retained, with increased low-speed assistance to aid low-speed manouvers. 

McLaren has worked with Pirelli to develop a bespoke P Zero tyre to balance performance driving and quietness. They pair with 20in front and 21in rear wheels, the largest ever offered by the brand.  The brakes have even been retuned to be easier to modulate in low-speed environments.

The GT is available to order now worldwide, priced from £163,000 in the UK, inclusive of taxes. Customer deliveries are expected to commence before the end of 2019. 

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Comments
21

15 May 2019
My second favourite car after the 720s

15 May 2019

To quote the original launch of the MP4-12C.   Just good enough isn't good enough.

 

This looks that they've taken the 720s and made a GT from it, that's almost good enough to pass as a GT.   It doesn't.    Even if you can fit two pairs of skis in (which will probably chop your head off if you have to brake hard!).   Although I have to say that the interior looks better thought out than the Astons of late.

 

If McLaren wishes to do a GT line then it has to move the engine to the front and put in a proper boot.   This, as a compromise, is somewhere between sports and GT.   Maybe that will be enough?

 

15 May 2019

 The Black Roof makes the shape really,and the interior looks the money now.

Peter Cavellini.

15 May 2019

Today's McLaren reminds me of how during the war people had to get incredibly creative with their rations and lack of basic materials, fashioning all kinds of amazing things from powdered egg, corned beef and old clothing. Some of the stuff was amazing but it was never anywhere near as good as the 'real thing'.

McLaren has worked wonders fashioning all sorts with their basic Monocell structure and single V8. However, the Senna is not as light or as powerful as it should be (barely faster than the 720) and the Speedtail looks a bit strange as it struggles to overcome its inbuilt engineering limitations and hit 250mph. And the rest all look very similar.

I think the new generation of Aston's will cause McLaren some problems at the high end too. 

Saying that, this GT is a nice looking machine (if a bit predictable).

15 May 2019
jmd67 wrote:

... the Senna is not as light or as powerful as it should be (barely faster than the 720) ...

LOL!

Depends on one's definition of "barely faster" but the Senna is several seconds a lap faster than the 720 around a typical track!

15 May 2019

...........and not even 1/2 the price. Maintenance is much easier, therefore cheaper, and much less required anyway because Corvettes are so reliable, after all, 100 million SmallBlock engines must mean something. Any Corvette is a super long distance cruiser, and does over 30mpg; bet there's no mclaren that can do that. 

Ken BRUNTON

15 May 2019

Styling wise breaks zero new grounds inside and out and looks dull and derivative. Let's see how it drives and whether it fulfills its GT brief as well as McLaren claims.

15 May 2019

Corvettes are not only superb long distance cruisers but also fantastic endurance racers. They are sadly yank but that's a fact worth having to suffer. 

Ken BRUNTON

15 May 2019

Mid-engined Grand Tourers have been and gone over the decades and very few have really been succesful so I'm unsure what McLaren think will steer buyers away from the traditional front-engine Grand Tourers like a DB11, Portofino and GranCoupe for example towards their own GT. Especially as the GT appears compromised in its practicality and packaging compared to its rivals and it doesn't seem to have any storage behind the rear seats which previous mid-engine GTs have had. Perhaps the excellence of their other models, the sports-car like looks or the fact the GT is differently laid-out will be enough of a temptation. To me, the GT is merely another McLaren sports car, albeit a less hardcore and more luxurious one. I suppose McLaren could have gone down the more traditional route but it'd have cost them millions developing and producing a new chassis and drivetrain layout for what would be small-ish sales in return. Easier to base a new car on a development of an existing chassis and use the same basic engine that's been in use for 10 years in every other McLaren since the MP4.....

15 May 2019

 A full set of Golf Clubs fit in the Boot!

Peter Cavellini.

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