McLaren 570GT

McLaren 570GT, front
McLaren 570GT, front
McLaren 570GT, side
McLaren 570GT, interior
McLaren 570GT, interior
McLaren 570GT, interior
McLaren 570GT, rear
McLaren 570GT, rear

I'VE been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to drive several of McLaren's astonishingly quick luxury sports cars and they are as good as road legal motoring really gets.

And that explains the equally astonishing business performance of the Woking-based company.

However, the 570GT - the third model in the brand's Sports Series family after the 570S Coupe and 540C Coupe - is something a little different.

A two-seat, mid-engined V8, is was what McLaren called on its launch in 2016, its most refined and road-biased model yet, designed with a focus on day-to-day usability and long distance comfort. It was their ‘everyday' supercar.

Could something just 1,201mm high - just under 4ft in old money - really be so practical?

As with all Sports Series models, you get in and out via Mclaren's signature dihedral doors, which seem to reach up to greet you, as you slide into the pair of eight-way electrically adjustable sports seats, upholstered in leather as standard.

Within the reasonably spacious cabin, the controls for the air con, telephone, sat nav and eight-speaker audio system are managed through the centrally-mounted touchscreen, while the vehicle set-up is configurable via the TFT LCD digital instrument cluster.

A fixed glass panoramic roof, also standard, floods the cockpit with light making it bright and airy. It is treated with the same transmission tint as the legendary McLaren P1 and also features a special film to absorb sunlight while also reducing outside noise. Fully-independent dual-zone aircon also helps prevent you from baking on hot days.

The front luggage area remains unchanged from the Coupe at 150 litres, while a further 220 litres of space - enough for a couple of soft weekend bags - is available behind the seats on a leather-lined ‘touring deck'.

This extra space is accessed via the rear screen which is hinged along its right-hand edge in British versions so getting your luggage from the kerbside should always be safe and easy, unless, of course, you decide upon a cross-Channel hop.

Refinement and day-to-day usability are also helped by unique, specially-developed Pirelli P Zero tyres which remarkably reduce in-cabin road noise from the grooves within the tyre by up to three decibels.

Standard spec also includes front and rear parking sensors, an electric steering column with easy entry/exit function, soft close doors and a quieter exhaust system than the 570S. Lightweight, noise-absorbing and damping materials line the touring deck and bulkhead to screen out more noise.

The front end of the 570GT is shared with that of the 570S Coupe, but body-coloured door inserts, unique to the GT, create a more understated side profile.

The GT also has a flowing fastback instead of a vertical rear screen, the Coupe's flying buttresses are gone, replaced by a larger rear spoiler. It's elegant if not understated.

So, it looks good - when does a McLaren not? - and is a little more practical. What else?

The 570 GT is fitted with the McLaren-developed 3.8-litre twin turbo engine which debuted in the 570S Coupe.

Power and torque remain at 562bhp and 600Nm. and power is delivered to the rear wheels via a seven-speed seamless-shift transmission.

Combined with McLaren's lightweight carbon fibre chassis, performance is blistering - 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of over 200mph.

McLaren's easy-to-chose Normal, Sport and Track settings, which can be dialled up via a panel on the centre console, are also still available.

However, despite the breath-taking performance, McLaren has tweaked the suspension introduced on the 570S to make it softer-sprung and more supple on the GT.

Its steering system has also been recalibrated to make it smoother at high cruising speeds. Both are designed at making the 570 more comfortable, more refined.

Together with its enhanced interior, the tweaks certainly made the GT the most refined and comfortable McLaren available until the much more expensive 720S arrived last year.

The ride is smoother, the driving position excellent, and the cabin noise is less raw, even if the cylinder-cut burp in Sport mode is still there. And, as a cruiser, it is exceptional, even if it will never attain the comfort levels of much larger GTs.

The great thing for enthusiasts is that, on more challenging roads, with Sport mode selected, the GT remains hugely impressive.

The difference from the 570S is almost imperceptible. It remains involving, exciting and marvellously engaging. Grip is perfectly-balanced and immense and the GT corners with huge confidence and effortless agility.

The fine-handling and rev-happy engine almost challenges you to push harder yet it doesn't feel intimidating. It's as if the car itself wants you to enjoy it as much as you can.

The 570GT remains one of McLaren's most accessible cars and, arguably, its most practical.

Whether it can ever be an ‘everyday' car could depend on what you use it for.

FAST FACTS

McLaren 570GT

Price:£157,000

Mechanical: 562bhp, 3,799cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:204mph

0-62mph: 3.4 seconds

Combined MPG:26.6

Insurance Group:50

C02 emissions: 249g/km

Bik rating:37%

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