McLaren GT Luxe

McLaren GT, 2021, front
McLaren GT, 2021, front, action
McLaren GT, 2021, nose, action
McLaren GT, 2021, side
McLaren GT, 2021, rear, action
McLaren GT, 2021, rear
McLaren GT, 2021, doors
McLaren GT, 2021, interior
McLaren GT, 2021, rear, detail
McLaren GT, 2021, overhead
McLaren GT, 2021, boot
McLaren GT, 2021, boot
McLaren GT, 2021, tailgate

GT is, of course, short for Grand Tourer, an evocative name that conjures up images of high-performance cars capable of crossing continents.

These days it's almost synonymous with the Bentley Continental GT and less than a handful of others.

However, there's a relatively new kid on the block - the McLaren GT - which is much lighter, much faster, and more engaging than traditional rivals. It only offers seating for two, but it does come with the ferocious pace of a 612bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine.

Can a two-seater supercar really be a GT though? Where does the luggage go for a start? Well, there's a total of 570 litres of luggage space - more than many premium compact SUVs - including 150 litres in the nose.

The remaining 420 litres consists of a shallow, but surprisingly big boot under a glassy tailgate. It's large enough for two pairs of skis or a set of golf clubs, but rigid suitcases could be a problem. Packing for that long weekend away takes a degree of thought.

And, apart from a couple of cupholders, a slim armrest box and a small glovebox there isn't much room for the general bits and pieces that generally accompany you on a long journey either.

That said, the elegant interior of the McLaren GT is a cosseting space designed to delight. All the essentials for focused, high-performance driving are present and correct - a perfect seating position, excellent forward visibility past slim windscreen pillars, and all the controls you'll need near at hand.

McLaren has upgraded its infotainment system but it's still a little fiddly to use. Functions include satnav with real-time traffic information, Bluetooth and DAB radio. A 12.3-inch TFT screen is positioned directly ahead of the driver and provides key vehicle information at a glance.

For ultimate exclusivity, the McLaren GT is also available in Pioneer and Luxe trims - both no cost and no brainer options. Luxe adds extremely comfortable, powered ‘Memory Comfort' seats, power adjusted steering column, ambient lighting, and Piano Gloss Black interior surrounds, while a Practicality Pack - another no cost option - adds a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors and electrically-folding heated mirrors.

Instead of Nappa leather trim, you can choose between softgrain luxury leather, Alcantara or even cashmere. A new ‘SuperFabric' infused with a layer of tiny, armoured guard plates providing increased resistance to cuts, nicks and abrasions, as well as being breathable, lines the luggage compartment.

Premium and Lightweight Sport packs are also available as no cost options.

Designed to be the most refined McLaren yet, covering large distances in the GT in comfort is not a problem - a 100-mile jaunt is dispatched with ease. However, McLaren hasn't forgotten to make it fun for B-road thrills.

The 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 fitted to the 720S has been tweaked to allow for more comfort but still produces an impressive 612bhp and 630Nm. Peak power of 612bhp is achieved at a thrilling 7,500rpm, yet more than 95% of the torque is available from 3,000rpm to 7,250rpm and maximum torque between 5,500rpm and 6,500rpm. It is ready to be revved hard and put through its paces.

McLaren say it is the most fuel-efficient twin-turbocharged V8 it has ever designed and that's easy to believe. A relaxed and steady motorway cruise will return plenty over 30mpg if you can resist playing with the throttle.

Agile and fire-breathing when you want it to be, the GT becomes a real pussycat around town, helped by revised suspension geometry, twin-valve hydraulic dampers with new Proactive Damping Control and new electro-hydraulic steering.

Leave the McLaren GT in comfort mode, and the sublime and seamless seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in auto, and around town it's relaxed and easy, with light steering. At almost 4.7 metres long, the GT is longer than any of the cars in the McLaren Sports or Super Series. The front and rear overhangs also extend further than is traditional for McLaren, but the 10-degree front approach angle allows the new GT to cope with most speed humps without recourse to its nose lift system.

Now, a two-seater supercar is never going to be the quietest ride, especially with a V8 stashed just behind your ears but McLaren has done an admirable job damping down outside noise. Pirelli has even developed bespoke P Zero tyres that reduce road noise by using grooves in the rubber to absorb vibrations and minimise transmission of noise into the cabin. 21-inch alloy rear wheels, the largest ever fitted to a McLaren, are paired with 20-inch wheels at the front.


McLaren GT Luxe


Mechanical:612bhp, 3,994cc, eight-cyl turbocharged petrol engine driving rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:203mph

0-62mph:3.2 seconds

Combined MPG:23.7mpg

Insurance Group:50

C02 emissions:270g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty:3yrs/Unlimited miles


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