I can boldly say this McLaren GT is a good grand tourer as you would happily get behind the wheel and drive the car for three hours to catch fun.
GT is a car that McLaren promises that will redefine the concept of a grand tourer, and it is loaded with plenty of power and good looks.
The grand touring as a concept is very much off the agenda at the moment, what you only need to do is nip out to the shops for essentials, not by boot it down to the Cote d’Azur for sun, sea, and fine wine.
McLaren GT features a whopping great engine in the front, an ocean of opulence in the middle, and a boot in the back. It’s a tried and tested formula that stood the test of time.
McLaren GT Car
McLaren GT has dihedral doors, and the 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 produces 612bhp and propels you down the road at a fair old rate; 0-60 can be dispensed within a mere 3.1secs and it’ll keep on pulling to 203mph. So far, so McLaren. And that’s not a bad thing.
The McLaren GT has split opinion like few other cars recently and that’s almost exclusively because of the name. And the traditional concept of a great tourer is to waft along in luxury, as a near-silent cabin being ushered towards the horizon by a huge engine in the front.
McLaren has ripped up the rule book in creating its take on the grand tourer and the results, at the very least, get you thinking.
The question is: Is this a car that brings comfort and practicality to the supercar arena, or is it one that brings performance and driver engagement to the GT arena? Well, the answer is a bit of both.
Many thought has been given to how the GT can approach things differently, and also suggest that this a practical supercar that is almost damn it with faint praise.
It’s mid-engine and doesn’t have those rear seats. The emphasis is on the driver. This means that the GT weighs only 1,530kgs. That’s getting on for three-quarters of a ton lighter than some of the competition.
We only get these results in an extraordinary driving experience we gathered. With the McLaren GT engine behind you, you can feel the revs rising through the base of your seat and the steering in this car is an absolute joy.
The gearbox, too, is a joy. I don’t usually use the flappy paddles behind the steering wheel, relying on the car to select the right gear quicker than I ever could.
McLaren GT, however, the shifts are instant, helping you get exactly what you want from this car, be it cruising along softly or indulging in a moment or two of hooliganism. Popping down through the gears, the engine purrs its approval.
The car also lacks overall driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure assistance, adaptive head beams; all things that you might look for in the longer run. The seats are accommodating enough, although there’s no massage setting to ease out those backaches on those same longer runs.
As always, I sought to pit the McLaren GT against a range of road conditions, such as one would expect on a grand tour. It handled them all superbly.
The country roads brought out the best in the McLaren GT, with an opportunity to explore some of the performance and handling on offer. It just grips through corners, enabling you to place it with supreme confidence and use the performance as required, with a minimal body roll. The composure offered is astonishing.
Whilst the McLaren GT may not entirely redefine the grand tourer concept, it at the very least offers a very distinct proposition. Compared to others of the genre, what it lacks in comfort and refinement, it makes up for in driver engagement and theatre.