McLaren has made a sharp turn down a more relaxing road with the design of its all-new GT.
The suave new direction is a significant departure for a super-sports car company that had previously put function well ahead of form in its efforts to create cars to challenge Ferrari and Lamborghini. The GT is more elegant and considerably less aggressive as McLaren chases the hearts and wallets of people who want more than a go-faster toy for weekend work.
Compared with the brutalist Senna ‘halo’ model, a track-only car with a look for racing at Le Mans and not arriving at The Lido, the GT is longer and considerably more shapely. Key to the new look are a nose which rises to accommodate a worthwhile boot and provide clearance in driveways or over speed humps, as well as a glassed-in rear luggage space that can even accommodate golf clubs.
It’s a softer style and softer focus for a car that drives away from the existing Sports, Super and Ultimate series cars from McLaren and is aimed at people who will use it for long-distance driving. Even so, it still shares a carbon fibre chassis and a twin-turbo V8 engine that makes it good for a 0-100km/h sprint in 3.1 seconds.
“It’s been designed for distance and will provide the comfort and space expected of a grand tourer, but with a level of agility never experienced before in this segment,” claims McLaren’s CEO, Mike Flewitt. The cabin has added luxury and comfort, with heating and a choice of cashmere in place of Napa leather for the seats.
Infotainment has also been upgraded, with improved mapping and an operating system that is claimed to be five-times quicker than previous McLarens.
Dynamically, the car has unique and softer GT tuning, and benefits from hydraulic dampers which use special sensors to ‘read’ the road and prepare the suspension for corners and bumps. Engineers have also worked to cut interior noise with laminated glass and a stronger focus on suppressing the noise, vibration and harshness which plagues many sports cars.
The GT also comes with an optional electrochromic glass roof - which switches from light to dark at the touch of a button - but McLaren says it has no plans for a convertible GT.
There is no word yet from Britain on the price or arrival date for the GT in Australia.