The Wraps Are Off: The McLaren GT Is Here
Wind the clock back just nine years, it's 2010 and the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, nestled in the heart of Surrey, is home to one of the most successful Formula One teams in history. Ron Dennis has stated his ambitions to take McLaren to the top and become a supercar maker that can trouble the established elite. McLaren Cars was born.
Fast forward back to the present day and McLaren now produces 20 hand built cars a day with the marque producing 4,800 cars in 2018 alone. It’s a success story of epic proportions and a story that’s still building momentum.
First off the blocks was the McLaren MP4-12C, its nameplate taking the iconic codename of the McLaren Project 4 programme from Formula One. It made an impact straight out of the box and received constant acclaim from whatever publication sat behind the wheel for their first drive features.
The 12C put the McLaren name on the map and started the story of what McLaren was soon to become. Handling and dynamics were raved about, but was this aspect of a machine produced by McLaren ever to be in doubt?
Next came the 675, P1, 720s, Senna and Speedtail. All of these machines have drawn major amounts of attention and have genuinely been able to hold even the finest of Ferrari’s to account on more than one occasion. All of these cars had one thing in common, a recipe of handling and power combined with ultimate aerodynamic efficiency.
The latter point has come up for debate on numerous occasions as the designs for the aforementioned machines, and in particular, the Senna, have had their visual appeal pulled into question. McLaren is all about ultimate performance and perhaps for the aesthetics they should be forgiven, however as the wraps come off the marques 19th model, the rule book appears to have been thrown out of the window.
Meet the all-new and highly anticipated McLaren GT.
The McLaren GT tears up the McLaren rule book of old and pulls together a hybrid of performance and comfort as the group works towards its first proper grand tourer. The current grand tourer segment has been filled by some pretty formidable contenders of late with cars such as Bentley’s new Continental and Aston Martins DBS Superleggera all receiving high praise.
The McLaren GT is a bold move for this young company and signifies the level of its intent and ambitions. Designed with comfort in mind, the new GT is meant to be a machine that you can use to eat through the miles whilst carrying ample luggage in unison.
McLarens engineers have worked hard to ensure that this car retains its poise whilst being a quiet and accommodating place to be. In a recent piece to TopGear magazine the engineers at Woking have been quoted as saying that thanks to new soundproofing and sound-absorbing glass used, the GT is a quieter place to be than the Ferrari and Aston Martin.
Visually it’s also a departure from its predecessors. The GT is less aerodynamically involved and this shows in its styling. Previously exterior design was very much a function over form affair, whereas this time around the GT displays some unique design features.
It’s softer and less aggressive and features some intricate lines all over which add up to provide for a sleeker profile. This isn’t an all-new concept however as the GT takes clear influence from the Senna, see the side and rear vents and the 675 LT courtesy of the rear end.
Power comes in at a potent 612 bhp from its V8 engine which allows the GT to topple standstill to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds before cruising onto 203mph.
Priced at £163,000 the McLaren GT looks set to be a serious contender in the Grand Tourer market. How it performs on the road will have to wait, but if you’re looking for something to take out on your Sunday cruise, this could just be the car for you, and heck, you can even fit a full set of golf clubs in the back.