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McLaren GT 2020 – regardless of looks, love the way it drives

It’s interesting to see McLaren Automotive making the most of its platform. The company was very resourceful, using the same (or very similar) basic building blocks – a carbon fiber monocoque and twin-turbocharged V8 – to build a range of supercars and supercars. for most cases. With the McLaren GT, the automaker has left run-time obsessive machines like the P1 hybrid or the winged Senna as much as possible. GT stands for “grand tourer”, and that means it’s a car designed for comfort over long distances.

It was something I tried to put to the test as best I could, being instructed quite strictly not to put more than 250 miles (402km) on the odometer. And that’s true – this is the most comfortable, easy-to-live McLaren I’ve driven. But don’t expect something soft or sleek – it might say “GT” on the chassis panel, but it’s still a true, all-around supercar.

First, a confession: I’m not a fan of the look, expectation of the B pillars. The nose seems to borrow from a goblin shark, and the way some of the GT’s lines intersect. Each other in the lower half of the car made me wonder if the design team members contributed elements that no one told to each other. Then again, from other perspectives, especially the rear, I think parts of it look amazing. But the looks were subjective, and more passersby looked at the shape of its (aluminum) body more than mine.

And yes, I wrote “aluminum body.” This car, like the entry-level Sports Car Series (cars like the 570S and 600LT), uses carbon fiber for its structure but metal for the panels. That contributes to the asking price of GT; Starting at $ 210,000, this car is what’s overtaking it at an affordable price point when it comes to McLaren. Speaking of that carbon-fiber structure, the GT uses a new variant of McLaren’s carbon-composite monocoque called MonoCell II-T – the “T” for the tour.

The main change is that the tub now has a substructure at the back that extends over the engine bay. As you can see in the gallery above, the GT’s engine is completely obscured from view; instead, there’s a 14.8 cubic foot (419L) luggage area that can hold a set of golf clubs or even things like skis that previously would be racks on the roof. (Additionally, there’s a 5.3 cubic foot (150L) cargo compartment under the hood.)

McLaren is the most effective yet

You can’t see the 612hp (456kW), 465lb-ft (630Nm) twin-turbocharged V8, but it’s definitely there, along with a 7-speed dual-clutch SSG gearbox. Both are closely related to the engine and gearbox in other McLarens, but with some bits unique to the V8 and GT-specific tweaks for the transmission make for an efficient powertrain. best of GT McLaren. The official EPA figures for the car are a combined highway 22mpg (10.7l / 100km), but I have to report that over the course of my 250 miles I actually averaged 22.5mpg (10.5l / 100km). , which is pretty good when you consider this a mid-engine supercar. With a curb weight of 3,384 lbs (1,534kg), this is a relatively light car, especially compared to traditional GT rivals from companies like Aston Martin or Ferrari.

While I’ve never fully enjoyed the look of the GT, I have no qualms with the way it drives. In particular, the ride was breathtaking, even passing through the broken roads of the DC area. It uses conventional hydraulic dampers and doesn’t have the front-to-back smart connection setup used on McLaren’s more expensive Super Series cars. The dampers are overseen by an intelligent digital system called Active Damper Control, which is tuned from another 720S (one of those Super Series cars). This uses sensors to interpret road conditions and respective responses every two milliseconds. The practical benefit is a car that you can spend all day driving (or driving in) without feeling depleted at sunset.

Another concession in terms of usability is the taller vehicle height compared to other McLarens, allowing you to handle multiple deceleration burrs without lifting the nose, despite long front and rear overhangs.

And while it’s not actually easier in and out than the 570S, it has more comfortable seats. Front visibility is as good as always on McLaren, in large part due to the driver’s position near the car’s center line and the way the A-pillars wrap around to minimize blind spots. Rear visibility is better than any other McLaren I’ve driven, as well as many other mid-mounted machines. Along with our test car’s optional color electric roof ($ 6,000), cream-colored leather and carpets, there’s never any risk of feeling claustrophobic when you’re tied up.

Is it really a GT, or a more practical supercar?

However, the GT is not entirely perfect. McLaren says they paid more attention to NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), but if you’re flying at a steady speed, the GT is really noisy. This is due to the combination of the engine, the tire roar, and the lack of mass to absorb the sound, although the material reduces the sound more than you’d find in any other company car. . Interior quality is an improvement on earlier cars like the 650S and 570S, but the small door block in the door can use a bit of tweaking, and here you can hear the creak coming from the skin.

While complaining, I can also suggest that there might be some intermediate point between how Ferrari trims its multifunction steering wheel with dozens of switches, dials and knobs versus the complete wheel. single-function used by McLaren. And the infotainment system is still a bit tricky to use, even though it’s been vastly improved over previous McLarens.

Fortunately there is no other comfort that comes with driver involvement. The hydraulic power steering is shared with the 720S and easily communicates with you through what’s still the best steering wheel in the industry (in terms of how you feel in the hand). The brake pedal is sturdy but easy to judge in terms of force, which is good since this is a fast car. From 0 to 60mph takes 3.1 seconds (0-100km / h takes 3.2 seconds). From 0 to 124mph (0-200km / h) takes nine seconds. (Braking distance is 417 feet / 127m for a complete stop from 124mph and 105 feet / 32m to stop from 62mph.)

Due to the relative lack of mass and the sheer physical grip of the Pirelli PZero tires – 225/35 / R20s at the front and 295/30 / R21s at the rear – directional changes are highly desirable and immediate. Needless to say, I’ve never been close to the limit of the car, but I end up driving each ride with a very bright smile on my face. I was still puzzled about calling the McLaren GT a true big touring car compared to something like the Polestar 1 – but only because it still drives like such a good supercar.

List of images by Jonathan Gitlin

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