New McLaren GT revealed – 611bhp grand tourer to rival Aston Martin and Ferrari

The new McLaren GT is not just a new variant, it’s also the first of McLaren’s new GT family

McLaren has its sights set on Aston Martin and the traditional grand tourer establishment with the launch of its first GT. The new mid-engined two-seater supercar might not look like a traditional GT, but with a more relaxed driving experience, smoother styling and improved practicality, McLaren is hoping its buyers won’t mind their GT lacking the traditional front-engined layout. Priced from £163,000, the new car will sit in its own model family within the McLaren range, and rival everything from an Aston Martin DB11 to the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T as a real everyday McLaren.

Despite the noise McLaren is making about this all-new model, underneath the new bodywork is the familiar pairing of a carbonfibre tub chassis and a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The tub is a heavily revised version of the 720S’s, and is called MonoCell II-T, denoting its Touring focus, which has been reshaped principally to facilitate a larger load area above the engine. To do this, engineers have set the engine even lower in the chassis and repackaged the exhaust to unlock a total cargo space of 420 litres – a Ford Focus has 375 litres for reference. A further 150 litres of storage space is available under the bonnet too, combining for a 570-litre total, 10 litres more than in a Volvo V90 estate.

> Click here for our review of the Aston Martin DB11 AMR

The cabin itself is closely based on the one found in Sports Series models such as the 570GT, but refines the formula with an emphasis on improved material quality and new tech. A substantial upgrade to the troublesome infotainment system will be welcome news for current McLaren customers – an essential consideration if this is being sold against GT-like rivals from Aston Martin and Porsche. Machined aluminium and new leathers highlight the interior, which McLaren also says has undergone a substantial hike in build quality – a weak point in some McLaren models in the past. Building on the airy feel thanks to the glazed C-pillars and an open rear deck is an optional electrochromic glass roof, which is able to darken itself instantly to one of five levels of tint. New interior finishes, including an industry-first application of cashmere, will be available on the options list for those wanting something different to the usual Nappa leather finishes.

The powertrain is typical of McLaren combining a revised version of the 4-litre twin-turbo V8 found in the 720S. Designated M840TE, the power unit in the GT produces 611bhp (99bhp less than the 720S), with 465lb ft of torque (103lb ft down) available between 5500 and 6500rpm. Ninety five per cent of that is available from as low as 3000rpm, though, giving the GT considerable low-end shove. Power is sent to the rear wheels via the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and open differential. Performance figures are still very brisk as a result, the GT reaching 62mph from rest in 3.2sec, 124mph in 9.0sec and going on to a top speed of 203mph. Helping to achieve those impressive numbers is the GT’s low kerb weight, which at 1530kg is significantly less than that of an Aston DB11 or even a new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S.

Despite the magic carpet ride quality associated with the 720S’s hydraulically cross-linked ‘Pro-Active Chassis Control’ suspension, the GT instead utilises the more traditional double wishbone system borrowed from the Sports Series models. The dampers are adaptive though, and now have a wider window of operation between their softest Comfort and hardest Track modes than other Sports Series models. In addition to this, the GT features an updated Optimal Control Theory algorithm, borrowed from the 720S, to actively scan the road to prepare the dampers for any incoming surface irregularities. The McLaren GT maintains its hydraulic power steering too, promising to keep McLaren’s finely wrought steering feedback and accuracy. Steel brakes are standard fit, but buyers can fit a combination of carbon-ceramic brakes and forged alloy wheels from the options list. 

The all-new exterior design is unique to the GT, with a more understated look compared to its Sports and Super Series siblings. At 4.7m long, it’s the longest McLaren yet (Speedtail aside, again), and features staggered wheel sizes at 20 and 21 inches on the front and rear axles respectively. The GT has clearly been designed to appeal to a more conservative audience – one that has a deeper appreciation of subtlety and sophistication. McLaren has also emphasised practical elements like approach and departure angles, and a taller ride height aiding those tricky mountain or beach-side holiday home driveways.

The GT is available to order immediately from McLaren dealerships, with the first deliveries to customers due before the end of this year. As the first of its model type within McLaren, we expect further derivatives of the GT to eventually appear, including a likely drop-top to satisfy the high number of GT buyers that prefer the open-air experience. 

Recommended

McLaren Elva now available with windscreen – total production run reduced to just 149 units
McLaren Elva with a windscreen
McLaren

McLaren Elva now available with windscreen – total production run reduced to just 149 units

The £1.4m McLaren Elva can now be optioned with a traditional windscreen, and production numbers have again been slashed, to just 149 units
27 May 2021
Final McLaren 620R rolls off production line, concluding Sports Series production
McLaren 620R
McLaren

Final McLaren 620R rolls off production line, concluding Sports Series production

Production of McLaren’s road-going GT4 racer has come to a close, marking the end of the Sports Series line
24 Mar 2021
First Lanzante LM 25 Editions delivered – conversion references McLaren F1 GTR-1R
Lanzante LM 25 Editions
McLaren

First Lanzante LM 25 Editions delivered – conversion references McLaren F1 GTR-1R

Seven McLarens are to receive F1 GTR-inspired touches to celebrate 25 years since its 1995 Le Mans win, and two are now complete
23 Feb 2021
New McLaren Artura revealed – all-new hybrid supercar to rival Ferrari F8 Tributo
McLaren Artura front
McLaren

New McLaren Artura revealed – all-new hybrid supercar to rival Ferrari F8 Tributo

McLaren’s next generation has arrived with a fresh powertrain, chassis and tech
17 Feb 2021

Most Popular

It’s time for some home truths about the Toyota GR Yaris, reckons Porter
Richard Porter opinion
Toyota GR Yaris

It’s time for some home truths about the Toyota GR Yaris, reckons Porter

‘It looks stretched and contorted, like someone who’s had too much cheap plastic surgery’
22 Jun 2021
2022 Ferrari 296 GTB unveiled – V6-hybrid to pack 818bhp punch
2022 Ferrari 296 GTB AF – front quarter
Ferrari

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB unveiled – V6-hybrid to pack 818bhp punch

Ferrari’s revolution is now up to full speed with its new plug-in hybrid V6 mid-engined supercar
24 Jun 2021
992-gen Porsche 911 Carrera GTS revealed – drivers’ Carrera debuts
Porsche 911 GTS 992
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

992-gen Porsche 911 Carrera GTS revealed – drivers’ Carrera debuts

Goldilocks 911 returns with more power and less weight
22 Jun 2021
Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival
Triumph Lynx
Features

Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival

With a 3.5-litre Rover V8 under the bonnet and TR7 fastback styling, the Lynx could have been British Leyland’s answer to the Ford Capri
18 Jun 2021
New Audi RS3 technical details revealed – torque-vectoring differential confirmed
Audi RS3 mule 2020 SB – rear
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 technical details revealed – torque-vectoring differential confirmed

Hyperhatch war resumes, with a new focus on handling, and not just power
21 Jun 2021
Project Horizon - CEO Tobias Moers maps Aston Martin’s future
Tobias Moers
Aston Martin

Project Horizon - CEO Tobias Moers maps Aston Martin’s future

A wider portfolio, V8 mid-engined supercars and every new Aston beyond 2025 to be electric. CEO Tobias Moers reveals his plans for Aston Martin
22 Jun 2021
BMW M3 Competition 2021 review – still the benchmark performance saloon?
BMW M3 Competition
BMW M3 saloon

BMW M3 Competition 2021 review – still the benchmark performance saloon?

It’s bigger and heavier than before, and is now auto-only. So can it copy the new M4’s trick of still being fun to drive? You bet it can
19 Jun 2021
The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive
evo archive – LaFerrari truck extraction – stop!
Ferrari

The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive

How do you get a £1million hypercar out of the back of a delivery truck? Very, very, slowly…
15 Jun 2021
New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring – rear profile
Porsche 911 GT3

New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK

The Touring pack has returned, combining the 992 GT3’s set-up with more understated looks
15 Jun 2021
Aston Martin sues Swiss car dealer over Valkyrie deposits
Aston Martin Valkyrie
Aston Martin Valkyrie coupe

Aston Martin sues Swiss car dealer over Valkyrie deposits

Aston is suing Nebula Project over Valkyrie deposits worth £15m that were allegedly taken from customers but not passed on to the parent company.
22 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
17 Jun 2021
MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
2022 Toyota GR 86 coming to Goodwood Festival of Speed
2022 Toyota GR86 FoS
Toyota GT 86

2022 Toyota GR 86 coming to Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Toyota GR 86 will have its public and dynamic debuts at this year's FoS
24 Jun 2021
BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance
BMW M5 CS – front cornering
BMW M5 saloon

BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance

Nonsensical on paper, but sublime in practice. Never has a modern supersaloon been more tactile or more engaging
14 Jun 2021