Mid-engined grand tourer marries sharp handling with long-distance comfort. Picture: SUPPLIED
Mid-engined grand tourer marries sharp handling with long-distance comfort. Picture: SUPPLIED

McLaren has launched its roomiest and most comfortable sports car yet.

Designed for distance, the new McLaren GT provides the comfort and space of a Grand Tourer with what the British company says is a level of agility never experienced before in this segment.

“The new McLaren GT combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a beautiful body,” says Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.

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Positioned alongside the established Sports, Super and Ultimate Series McLaren families, the GT is a car for a new audience looking for supercar performance with long-distance comfort and luggage space.

At the back is a spacious 420l boot underneath a glass tailgate with a soft-close function as standard and optional electrically-operated opening and closing. Another 150l cargo space is mounted up front, making this a McLaren one can take on holidays.

The cabin is designed for long trips with comfortable, electrically adjustable, and heated seats. The car also features a sophisticated infotainment system, ambient lighting and an optional electrochromic glass roof.

Space for the golf clubs in the roomy 470l boot. Picture: SUPPLIED
Space for the golf clubs in the roomy 470l boot. Picture: SUPPLIED

Like all McLarens, the new GT has a carbon fibre structure which makes it 130kg lighter than its closest core competitor and hundreds of kilogrammes less than other cars in the segment.

Power comes from a mid-mounted 4.0l twin-turbocharged V8 engine with outputs of 456kW and 630Nm, fed to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission with comfort, sport and track modes.

McLaren’s comfiest beast will sprint to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds, claims the factory, and on to a top speed of 326km/h.

The suspension, steering and brakes are all all tuned to provide agile handling yet better ride comfort than any other McLaren. To improve the comfort and minimise chassis noise, McLaren uses special engine mounts that are less stiff than its other, more sportier stablemates.

The suspension is a lightweight aluminium, double wishbone design, paired with hydraulic dampers to deliver Proactive Damping Control. Governed by the most sophisticated iteration yet of the pioneering Optimal Control Theory software algorithm developed for the 720S, the suspension uses inputs from sensors to “read” the road, interpreting what will likely happen next and reacting predictively in just two milliseconds.

The new McLaren GT will be launched in SA in the fourth quarter of this year at an indicative price of about R3.8m.