By Mike Torpey on 2019-06-22 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
McLaren GT on Grand
THE supermodel described as being ‘designed for the journey' has set out on its maiden voyage of discovery.
McLaren's epic-looking new GT is part of a product onslaught that will see no less than 18 new cars or derivatives from the British brand hit the streets over the next five years.
But the long-awaited GT is the one likely to have the biggest impact, so much so that its maker has sent the model out on a grand summer tour of Europe.
It landed at the McLaren Manchester dealer operation in Wilmslow as part of the UK leg, allowing both fans and prospective buyers to get close up and personal with a car for which the company's big guns have become extremely excited.
This is McLaren's first venture into the GT - grand tourer - scene and with a tab starting at Â£163,000 it looks a steal at the price.
What buyers will be getting when first deliveries arrive in the autumn is a two-seater that looks a million dollars, has what McLaren calls ‘continent-crossing capability', two spacious areas to stash luggage or sports gear - and savage performance.
It is the lightest, quickest accelerating car in its class with mind-boggling performance figures like 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 203mph from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine which develops a whopping 620ps.
The new engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and its aluminium suspension is paired with something called Proactive Damping Control and uses inputs from sensors to ‘read' the road and react in just two milliseconds.
And the exhaust can be tuned for that trademark V8 snarl or toned down at the push of a button so as not to disturb the neighbours.
Mid-engined performance cars aren't normally noted for space, but in the case of the GT there is 570 litres of it - a deep container under the bonnet plus a long area beneath the front-hinged, full-length glazed tailgate.
In fact the example in a striking Burnished Copper colour on show in Manchester contained a full-size set of golf clubs.
The cockpit itself, meanwhile, oozes luxury with electrically-adjusted and heated Nappa leather seats and the use of Cashmere in the cabin upholstery, plus the most sophisticated McLaren infotainment system to date.
It all adds up to a model that could set a new benchmark in the GT arena - a superlight supercar that will engage McLaren with a whole new audience - and it looks a surefire winner.
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