The McLaren GT
Most of my friends claim to know exactly how they’d respond if the universe were to instantly provide them with their wildest fantasy. I delicately try to explain without fanning their flames of jealousy that I thought so too, until it actually happened. For any man reading this that is not a “car guy”, I will give you some comparable equivalencies:
This would be like:
- Kind of like Batman handing you the keys to the Batmobile for 4 days
- Comparable to Ironman letting you try-out his suit for 4 days
- Similar to Daenerys Stormborn sending her dragon to scoop you up for a 4-day excursion to Hedonism Resorts
- Maybe like Jay-Z offering a four day “Wife-swap”
- Something like Megan Thee Stallion sliding you her number & room key at the hotel bar.
The truth is they all sound like AMAZING opportunities on paper. However, most of us aren’t built for the level of performance required to be in the above situations. My God how the truth hurts.
When the email hit my inbox, I thought maybe it was a prank. I wondered why the only supercar brand that intrigued me was reaching-out personally to offer me a car for a weekend. I understand that these days major brands are seeking to penetrate their target markets in a more “granular” fashion. However I never imagined that I was cool enough. I rarely flatter myself by thinking that I could show up on Mclaren’s radar as a great fit for a Brand Ambassador, but I was wrong. I felt like Cinderella at the ball when they handed me the keys to a fully-equipped 2020 Mclaren GT for four days. This is the tale of how I sampled perfection, and now I’ll never look at automobiles the same again.
Let us discuss the specifications and some of the engineering that go into a $250,000 sports car. Yes, that is not a typo, having possession of a quarter-million dollar vehicle is like caring for someone else’s toddler. The stress never went away, I woke up in the middle of the night just to check my Ring camera to be sure it was fine. I found myself taking different routes home to lose the fan club that was following me around trying to take photos and wanting to race. This car got more attention than I was ready for, it is absolutely gorgeous inside and out.
This model is the McLaren GT
McLaren’s first true lifestyle vehicle positioned to attract a new audience to the automotive brand. As with other established Sports, Super and Ultimate Series families the new GT is expanding the market segment into “Grand Touring”. This vehicle has the capabilities to offer comfort for longer distances at higher speeds and room for luggage. The car is engineered like all McLaren’s on a carbon fibre structure that possesses exceptional strength and rigidity. Giving it unparalleled driving dynamics and lightest-in-class curb weight. The bespoke MonoCell II-T monocoque – the T denoting ‘Touring’ – incorporates a carbon fiber rear upper structure that adds minimal weight but allows the creation of a 14.8 cubic foot luggage area below the front-hinged, full-length glazed tailgate. The tailgate has a soft-close function as standard and was electrically powered on my car.
This car has a super-low engine height and exhaust system that allows for the volume, shape and usability of a luggage bay! A golf bag or two pairs of 185cm skis and boots as well as
luggage can be carried with ease, while a further 5.3 cubic feet of storage at the front means the new McLaren GT can accommodate a total of 20.1 cubic feet. Its Dihedral doors swing upwards to expose a wide opening and low sill that makes you look like you’re exiting a spacecraft every time you arrive somewhere.
“You don’t park a McLaren GT, with this car YOU ARRIVE.”
– Eugene O. Smith, Jr.
Don’t let its touring capabilities fool you, it also has a “Launch” button. With the launch control function optimizing acceleration from a standing start, 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124mph is dispatched in 9.0 seconds. The max speed of the McLaren GT is 203mph. I can say that I was not caught breaking any local laws or ordinances in the time I had with the vehicle. My 13 year-old son agreed we would NOT push the launch button, because it suggested using it on a closed race track or airstrip.
Another defining element of the new McLaren GT – and arguably what will cement its position as the new segment leader – is its dynamic prowess. The suspension, steering and brakes are all bespoke to the car and optimized to provide an outstanding Grand Touring driving experience, with inherent balance, responsiveness and precision, yet better ride comfort, than any other McLaren.
I believe that if “Control-freak” Nikola Tesla were alive today, he would drive a McLaren GT. Just as the steering response goes unmatched amongst Grand Touring driving styles, so too do the tires and brakes. McLaren and its technical partner, Pirelli, have developed a bespoke P ZEROTM tire for the new McLaren GT that meets the demands of high-performance driving and comfort and refinement in equal measure.
The new McLaren GT is available to order now from McLaren retailers worldwide, with customer deliveries commencing since the end of 2019.
Priced from $210,000 USD.
Model seen below priced around $249,000
This car changed my life in four days because it is a tribute to human accomplishment in design & land travel. I will never be able to look at “Assembly-line” sports cars like the Camaro or Mustang the same again. Driving the McLaren GT exposed the fact that most vehicles on the road in the U.S. are designed to sell to “the masses”. The average sports cars are neutered by U.S. Highway specifications, and don’t have a real use-case for top-end speed & performance. When I lived in Germany traveling the autobahn, I learned the need for horsepower and speed. This car is a testament to performance in its sheer beauty and handling. It is a tool amongst toys on these American streets. I now see corvettes and BMW’s speeding on Interstate 95 and chuckle in remembrance of the Mighty McLaren GT.
“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 super-light cars with a clear weight advantage over rivals. 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.”
Mike Flewitt – CEO McLaren Automotive.