McLaren 570GT driven: the surprisingly practical supercar
The McLaren 570GT is like no other McLaren. With chassis, suspension, steering and styling tweaks, extra luggage space and more creature comforts, it’s the most practical and comfortable McLaren ever.
Maybe it’s just me, but I struggle to distinguish between McLaren models, but with the 570GT there’s an obvious giveaway. Just to the rear of the panoramic glass roof sits a ‘piano lid’ glass hatch, or ‘touring deck’ as McLaren has dubbed it.
Open it up and it would be exaggerating to call it cavernous, but that extra 220 litres, added to the 150 litres under the front bonnet, means that the GT is instantly more useable than its sibling, the 570S.
For me the GT is also more attractive than the more hard-core S It still has a carbon fibre chassis, trademark scissor (dihedral) doors, but it’s lost the flying buttresses and now seems sleeker.
It also uses the same twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 as the 570S which pushes out 562bhp and an impressive 443lb ft of torque.
In other words, the GT has some serious grunt and is blisteringly fast, reaching 62mph from a standstill in a dizzying 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 204mph. It sounds awesome too.
Of course, I could only sample a fraction of its performance on UK roads, but it’s one of those rare cars that is as refined or explosive as you want it to be.
Power is sent to the rear wheels shod with mighty 285/35/R20 rear Pirelli P Zero tyres via an impressive 7-speed dual-clutch ‘Seamless Shift Gearbox’. At least, that’s the default position – there’s also the option to change gear manually using paddles behind the steering wheel.
You can also toggle between the drive modes – Normal, Sport and Track. Frankly, leaving the GT in Normal mode is more than enough. The suspension is noticeably firmer in Sport, while the engine and gear changes get rather more aggressive. Track is hard-core and best left to, er, track days.
So, driving the GT is more civilised than the 570S. The ride is more compliant, the noise levels in the cabin are pleasant and it’s a far more comfortable experience all round.
However, press on and it’s a beast unleashed. Tamed yes, but still enough to put a smile on your face. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that on regular roads in normal conditions it has exceptional driving manners. We’re talking totally assured handling.
Ok, it may not have the interior visibility of a regular road car, but it can genuinely be driven just about anywhere – you can even raise the ride height for speed bumps if necessary.
The GT also features an engine start-stop system for extra economy – a first on a McLaren. For the record, officially it’ll average 26.6mpg, which isn’t bad for a supercar, and it emits 249g/km of CO2.
Beautifully made (it takes 188 man hours and 370 highly trained personnel to build one) and stand-out-from-the-crowd gorgeous, the 570GT makes for a compelling grand tourer proposition, if you have £154,000 to spend.
Verdict: The McLaren 570GT is refined, luxurious and practical – a grown-up sports car – but never underestimate the beast that lies beneath.
Needless to say, I’ve now added the 570GT to my lottery-win wish list. Bring it on.