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McLaren GT checks in from $399,995 plus ORCs

More comfortable, road-focused GT supercar to lure in new buyers for McLaren brand

30 Aug 2019

MCLAREN Automotive’s latest all-new offering, the road-focused GT supercar, has landed in Australia ahead of an on-sale date of November, priced at $399,995 plus on-road costs.


Despite its considerable pricetag, the GT is still the third-most affordable member of McLaren’s line-up, behind the entry-level 540C ($350,000) and 570S ($395,000).


Speaking to GoAuto at the Australian reveal of the GT, McLaren Asia Pacific managing director George Biggs said the new model will attract a different type of buyer to the British supercar brand.


“I think it will be a mix (of new and old customers),” he said. “It’s not going to be 100 per cent one way or the other, but I do see that this car will bring more people who haven’t owned a McLaren before.


“We’re synonymous with high performance and this car is aimed at a buyer that’s looking for something slightly different, something that is more comfortable, it’s more usable on a daily basis. Different things are important to them.


“So I think that we’re going to see people who have always looked at the McLaren brand, been intrigued, been interested, had a look and just not quite settled their mind on where it fits with them, and I’m hoping this will (make them say), ‘This is more of a reflection of where I’m at and how I want to represent myself.’”


Mr Biggs added that the brand has seen a high level of inquiry from Australian customers, with over 200 prospective buyers invited to a viewing event where they can pre-order the GT after seeing it in the metal.


While previous McLaren offerings have been clearly divided into three tiers – Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series – the GT stands alone as a new model line, suggesting more variants with a grand-touring bent will be on their way in the future.


Setting it apart from the rest of the range, the GT has a greater focus on comfort and practicality compared to its stablemates, starting with the interior which features a combined 570 litres of cargo capacity.


The mid-mounted engine bay has been lowered by 100mm to provide 420L of space behind the driver – enough for a golf bag or two sets of skis – while an extra 150L of storage is available at the front of the vehicle.


A range of high-quality materials have been used to upholster the GT’s cabin, including soft leather across the dashboard, door panels and doors, machined and knurled aluminium switches and controls, and even special fabrics originally designed by NASA.


McLaren Special Operations (MSO) also offers further customisation options for buyers.


Seats feature electronic adjustment and heating, while the GT’s 7.0-inch portrait-style infotainment system – the most sophisticated iteration to date – can be optionally matched with a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with carbon-fibre subwoofers and kevlar mid-range drive units.


McLaren has said the GT should provide continent-crossing ride comfort, no doubt helped by its Optimal Control Theory ride control system, developed in tandem with the University of Cambridge.


Combined with the GT’s three-stage adaptive dampers, Optimal Control Theory can continuously adjust the damper settings to provide the most comfortable ride of any McLaren model. The steering and brakes are also unique to the GT.


While the GT has the greatest bias towards road use versus track use, McLaren still insists on impressive dynamic capabilities, partly enabled by the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mounted behind the driver.


The GT’s engine cranks out 456kW at 7500rpm and 630Nm from 5500-6500rpm, making it more potent than all of the McLaren’s Sports Series offerings, including the 600LT.


Driving the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, the 1530kg GT takes just 3.2 seconds to race from standstill to 100km/h, while reaching 200km/h takes 9.0s on the way to a top speed of 326km/h.


Official combined fuel consumption is pegged at 11.9 litres per 100km, while CO2 emissions check in at 270 grams of CO2 per km.


The GT features a bespoke iteration of McLaren’s MonoCell II-T carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, helping to reduce kerb weight.


Exterior features include mixed alloy wheels (20-inch front, 21-inch rear) shod in Pirelli P-Zero rubber, a higher nose and ground clearance compared to other McLarens for ease of use in urban environments, sleek headlights, thin LED strip tail-lights, and a full-length glazed glass tailgate with soft-close functionality.


McLaren is also offering a McLaren GT luggage set designed by MSO, consisting of four pieces of luggage – a garment case, a weekend bag, a cabin bag and full-size golf bag, able to be ordered from McLaren dealers.


Local examples of the GT are expected to arrive in Australia around November.

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