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McLaren 570GT first drive

By raccars Published

McLaren’s third Sports Series model is the most refined iteration yet. But it remains every inch the Ferrari-rivalling supercar. If you own a Porsche 911 Turbo or Audi R8, it definitely needs to be on your radar…

McLaren 570GT

  • Price:  £154,015
  • Engine:  3.8-litre V8 twin-turbo
  • Power:  570hp
  • Gearbox:  Seven-speed SSG
  • 0-62mph:  3.4 seconds
  • Top speed:  204mph
  • Fuel economy:  26.6mpg
  • CO2:  249g/km
  • On sale:  Now
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Three 2016 McLaren 570GT facts

  1. The 570GT is the third model in McLaren’s Sports Series range. The other two cars are the 540C and 570S
  2. The 570GT uses exactly the same engine as the 570S: it’s a fraction slower as it’s a bit heavier
  3. McLaren says the 570GT will be the best-selling model from its three-car Sports Series line-up
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What is it?

The McLaren 570GT is the most ‘everyday’ McLaren yet. That’s relative, of course, but it’s nevertheless the one most likely to tackle daily driving and long motorway slogs without fuss. Yes, as the name suggests, with the 570GT McLaren has given us a grand tourer.

It’s not an all-new car. It’s closely related to the superb 570S and, from the front, you won’t notice anything different. The changes are all at the back – instead of an open engine deck with cool, skeletal ‘flying buttress’ rear pillars, the 570GT gets an elongated coupe-style rear.

A panoramic glass roof is standard, as is a rear side-hinged tailgate. This glassy, more voluminous rear is sleeker than the sporty 570S and has allowed McLaren to create an additional load space at the rear – key to the 570GT’s appeal.

The GT model from McLaren’s Sports Series range also gets more standard equipment, such as all-round parking sensors, soft-close doors, electric heated seats and an easy-entry electric steering column, all to enhance its everyday usability.

It all makes sense on paper, but key to the 570S’ appeal is the exceptional way it drives. Has the 570GT diluted this?

Styling and interior

McLaren is pitching the 570GT as a more refined alternative to the exuberant 570S. You can get it in bright orange if you so wish, but it looks better in subtler silvers and greys – the sort of hues Porsche 911 and Audi R8 buyers may choose.

The sleeker rear end complements this. With its glassy panoramic roof and cleaner lines, the 570GT is more elegant than the outlandish 570S: it will still turn heads, as it’s still a Ferrari-rivalling McLaren, but it won’t shout quite as loudly as the standout S.

interior

Inside, it’s a similar story. Hard-back racing-style seats have been replaced by plusher heated leather pews, and the panoramic roof makes the interior lighter and airier. It’s still hard to get in and out of, because of the scissor doors and broad side sills, but it’s a more relaxing place to be once you’re in.

It’s a roomier one too. Behind the fold-forward seats is what McLaren calls the Touring Deck; this boasts 220 litres of additional stowage space, boosting the 150-luggage compartment up front. Leather-lined, it’s probably the most decadent boot in the world.

Performance

The 570S is fast: the 570GT, which shares its engine, is also fast. Not quite as fast, due to the slight extra weight, but 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 204mph is hardly slow. It aces most Porsche 911 Turbos, Audi R8s and Lamborghini Huracans.

The engine sounds exciting too, particularly when the revs rise. McLaren says the exhaust isn’t quite as loud as the 570S, but you’d be hard pushed to notice – and it will still offer a sports exhaust option if you want to go all-out.

The seven-speed SSG paddleshift gearbox is efficient and direct, and McLaren’s launch control helps you achieve those headline acceleration figures time and again.

Importantly, it’s also an easy engine to drive fast. The twin-turbo pulling power makes it tractable at low revs so you don’t have to be nudging the red line to be going very, very quickly indeed. This depth of performance makes it easier and more settled to drive at speed.

Handling

According to McLaren, the 570GT is a bit softer than the 570S. Again, you’d never know. Across a twisting road, it’s thrillingly tenacious, involving and direct, with a lightweight fluidity regular cars can only dream of. Grip is seemingly never-ending and the feedback through the controls is race-grade.

It’s tremendous fun to drive quickly, with McLaren’s insistence on giving its cars panoramic visibility, a well laid out driving position and general user-intuitiveness helping everyone drive quickly and skilfully.

handling

The surprise with the 570GT is how well it also rides. This is where McLaren’s decision to add comfort pays dividends. The 570S already has a high quality suspension, of course: the 570GT further enhances this with genuine compliance and long-distance suppleness.

It’s even fitted special noise-cancelling tyres, which dramatically quieten in-cabin noise levels at speed. These don’t quite turn it into a Mercedes-Benz S-Class limo, but they do make it quieter and more peaceful than most other supercars. Perfect for those who want to use their 570GT regularly.

Price and value

Because it has a higher standard kit count than the regular 570S, McLaren charges a little more for the 570GT: it costs £154,015. This is considerably more than most Porsche 911 and Audi R8 – indeed, it pitches it alongside Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

But that’s exactly where the 570GT deserves to sit, considering its talents, full carbon fibre chassis and general brand allure. McLaren doesn’t want to make as many cars as Porsche, so doesn’t need to have a ‘budget’ entry-level model. This car, likely to be its most popular, defines then brand as one priced upwards of £150,000.

stationary

Despite this, it can be argued the 570GT still represents good value. The standard equipment level is strong, the car’s exotic construction gives it a bespoke, custom-crated feel and ultra-low levels of depreciation mean that you won’t be losing much of the list price when you come to sell it further down the line.

Fuel economy

You don’t buy a supercar for fuel economy, goes the old assumption. McLaren doesn’t agree – intelligent people buy cars like McLarens and using gallons upon gallons of fuel isn’t very intelligent at all.

That’s why the 570GT will do more than 26mpg on the official cycle and emits less than 250g/km CO2 – officially escaping the UK’s most punitive ‘gas guzzler tax band’. It even has engine stop-start.

Combine this with a 72-litre fuel tank and you’ve a huge driving range, further bolstering the 570GT’s everyday usability. The last thing you want to be doing in a fast car is stopping all the time time fill it up. The 570GT ensures you don’t have to.

Verdict

The 570GT is the definitive Sports Series McLaren. It’s almost as thrilling as the mighty 570S and is, crucially, that bit easier and more comfortable to live with. The sleek styling conceals genuine usability for two people – total luggage space almost matches a Volkswagen Golf – and the satisfaction you get from living with it is enormous. It’s yet another brilliant McLaren.

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