McLaren GT makes dynamic debut at Festival of Speed
McLaren’s new grand tourer, the McLaren GT, has made its global dynamic debut at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.
The Woking brand revealed the car just under two months ago, as its interpretation of what a grand tourer should be. It’s been making a tour of McLaren showrooms since then, but the Festival gives a first chance for the wider public to get up close with the new car, and see it in action for the very first time as it drives up the Hill.
To create the GT, McLaren starts with a new version of its carbon-fibre MonoCell – which it will soon start to build in a new factory in Sheffield, having previously sourced all its chassis from Austria – called the II-T, or “Touring”. This includes a new part of the structure at the rear to create a luggage area.
In addition to a lower engine, thanks to revised intake and exhaust, that gives the McLaren GT a 420-litre luggage area behind the driver. It’s long enough to store skis and golf clubs, and is accessed via a fully glazed, soft-close tailgate, with an optional electric opening/closing feature. There’s also a special armoured material called SuperFabric that’s available to line the boot.
With long-distance driving in mind, McLaren has made a number of other small changes to enhance comfort. That includes raising the seats slightly, to make it easier to get in and out of the car, and re-engineering the seats themselves to be more comfortable for longer periods of time. Other interior comfort options include cashmere, for the first time in a production car.
There are softer engine mounts, unique to the GT, to reduce vibrations through the cabin and make the car quieter at speed. It also features McLaren’s standard nose lift function, to provide up to 5.1 inches of ground clearance.
All of the suspension and brake components are unique to the GT. This includes the lightweight aluminium double wishbones and hydraulic dampers. These use a predictive system developed for the 720S to adjust the suspension in 2ms intervals, but to ensure occupant comfort.
As for the engine, it’s a new version of the twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 you’ll find in the 720S and Senna, called the M840TE. It offers 620PS (612hp) and 630Nm (464lb ft), with at least 95% of the engine torque available from 3,000rpm up to 7,250rpm. That provides the GT with smooth acceleration, but also improved fuel economy. By the official figures, the McLaren GT will go for around 400 miles between fuel stops whilst still delivering McLaren-like performance, with 60mph coming up in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 203mph.
The McLaren GT is available to order now, from £163,000, with deliveries starting later in the year.