This is it: new McLaren GT revealed with 456kW V8 and svelte looks
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The other day we were harping on in the office about how the hot hatch segment is currently the most cut-throat and competitive in motoring. But, maybe we should also have considered the luxury grand tourer game.
You've got the new Bentley Continental GT, Lexus LC 500, Mercedes-AMG GT C, Ferrari F12 Lusso, half the Aston Martin line-up ... and those are just the two-door entrants. And now there's another, from McLaren.
The British marque with the Kiwi badge has unveiled its new GT model overnight; a car designed to take on all of the above in a blend of sports-car (supercar?) performance and pliant, plush luxury cruiser capabilities.
From the outset the McLaren GT has a whiff of difference about how it tackles the grand tourer brief. It looks to have much more sports car in its ratio than luxury car, and that might not be a bad thing. It's a mid-engined two-seater, which is an opposition to the segment's traditional front-engined 2+2 layout.
One of McLaren's continual strengths has always been their ability to make sports cars that feel comfortable and approachable to drive, so you can already assume that ride comfort isn't going to be a problem for the GT.
Looks wise, the GT appears to fit nicely in the gap between the Sports Series (540 C to 600LT) and Super Series (720S) cars. Although it is longer than anything from both, measuring in at 4.7 metres. This extra heft comes from longer overhangs which help increase the amount of storage space. It also has a taller front ride-height, which helps boost the approach angle to 10 degrees (13 degrees when the front is lifted) so that drivers are less likely to scrape their front on pesky speed bumps.
Those dimensions link to the GT's new construction cell. It's built on a bespoke MonoCell II-T monocoque platform, with a carbon fibre upper-rear structure that helps boost rear storage (enough for the stereotypical bag of golf clubs, as McLaren has illustrated in the gallery below).
Luxury elements include Bowers & Wilkins audio with carbon fibre sub-woofers, Nappa leather with the option of Alcantara or a higher leather grade, heated electric seats, and McLaren's most complex infotainment system yet. These elements come wrapped in McLaren's familiar swooping cabin styling, with those aforementioned seats still capable of bolting the driver and passenger in place.
The issue of power figures may be slightly less relevant in this setting than in the sports or supercar game, but the McLaren GT still comes with buckets of it.
Propulsion comes from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 612hp (456kW) of power and 630Nm of torque. That makes this much more powerful than the 419kW 570 S, while still being well behind the apocalyptic 720 S and its 537kW.
It's a little less power than what you get in the new Bentley Continental GT (467kW). But, its probably safe to assume that this McLaren is going to be a little lighter than its big British counterpart.
“The new McLaren GT combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a beautiful body and true to McLaren’s ethos of designing superlight cars with a clear weight advantage over rivals," says McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt.
"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. In short, this is a car that redefines the notion of a Grand Tourer in a way that only a McLaren could.”
There's no word yet on Kiwi pricing or availability, but we've contacted McLaren for details. Overseas reports claim that the GT will likely start being delivered before the end of the year. More to come.