Over the past several years, many manufacturers of high-performance and luxury cars have expanded their production into the SUV segment. The opportunity is seemingly unlimited. By 2017, sales of SUVs (and light-duty trucks) had topped traditional car sales by over 3 million units per year, and the SUV segment represented over thirty-six percent of the U.S. car market alone.
On the other hand, McLaren decided against entering the SUV market. Instead, they determined a Grand Tourer is more suitable for their existing customers who purchase from their lineup of street- and track-focused supercars.
While McLaren supercar models challenge Ferrari and Lamborghini, the new 2020 McLaren GT targets Aston Martin and Bentley. Both manufacturers offer Grand Tourer models, the Aston Martin DB11 AMR and Bentley Continental GT, which are fast, powerful, luxurious, comfortable, and include practical features and ease of use.
Here are twenty things rich car owners should know about the 2020 McLaren GT.
20 Modeled After a Ferrari
Grand Touring (GT) is a style of comfortable sports car that mixes luxury and sportiness for an enjoyable lengthy road trip.
The sports cars are typically configured as two-door coupes with a front-engine that powers the rear wheels and offers a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement. GT cars are usually capable of high speeds and consistently high performance.
The new 2020 McLaren GT is modeled after a Ferrari, not the current 2019 Ferrari GTC4Lusso, but rather the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta made in the early ‘60s.
19 Form Follows Function Exterior Design
McLaren’s adherence to the “form follows function” approach to car design resulted in features found on the GT that don’t appear on their other cars. The upright and bulkier side profile with protruding overhangs front and rear are driven by the need for more ground clearance and extra luggage space.
The 10-degree approach angle increases to 13 degrees with the optional nose lift, making speed bumps a bit less imposing.
18 MonoCell II Carbon-Fiber Tub
The McLaren GT uses a revised variation of the carbon-fiber passenger cell that's currently utilized in the McLaren Sports Series models, 570GT, 570S, and 600LT.
The MonoCell II-T is a new design that adds a carbon-fiber rear-upper “Touring” structure allowing the GT to incorporate a 420-liter rear load area floor underneath its rear hatch. The tub consists of mostly aluminum bodywork, with some composite components.
17 Cargo Space for Golf Clubs
Although the cargo space of the McLaren GT at 14.8 cubic feet is more than the trunk volume in a Bentley Continental GT, the shallow, long, and lumpy shape limits its use. Smaller trunks of rival grand tourers are perhaps better suited for traditionally shaped baggage.
Nonetheless, McLaren says the GT can accommodate a standard set of golf clubs (what could be more important?) or two pairs of downhill skis and boots with some room left over for small luggage.
16 The M840TE Engine
The 4.0-liter M840TE in the GT is a detuned version of the engine from the 720S. The GT was made more drivable with hardware and calibration changes, new turbochargers that reduce lag, and a flatter torque curve in the 2,500-7,000-rpm range.
Producing 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, the GT hits 60 mph from rest in a mere 3.1 seconds, does 0-124 mph in 9 seconds flat, and reaches 203 mph at the top end.
15 Air Intake Vents Keep the Cargo Area Cool
The exhaust system on the McLaren GT heats up to nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat generated directly affects the cargo area. However, materials used in the construction not only reduce the car’s noise and vibration, but they also serve to reduce the temperature.
Perhaps the large hulking side-mounted intakes aft of the doors have the most effect. They direct air into the engine bay, helping keep things cool, as well.
14 Advanced Safety Features Lacking
Advanced Safety Features that are standard on other cars in its class are conspicuously absent in the 2020 McLaren GT.
Blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, automatic front braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic front braking, and others are nowhere to be found. A few luxury features are missing as well, like ventilated or massaging seats.
13 Infotainment System Confusing to Operate
The 2020 McLaren GT is less pampering than its competitors, the Aston Martin DB11 or the Bentley Continental GT.
Seating is a bit less comfortable with narrow footwells, and operation of the infotainment system is not intuitive. While wearing polarized sunglasses, images on the 7.0-inch touchscreen mostly disappear (visibility is better at night).
12 Race Car-Like Brake Pedal Action
The 2020 McLaren GT features 20-inch Pirelli P-Zero tires up front and 21-inch tires at the rear. The high-performance tires are directly controlled by hydraulically assisted power steering.
The GT’s racecar-like cast iron brakes have 14.5-inch discs up front and 14-inch in the rear. The four-piston calipers require a long pedal travel and significant push before they initially bite. The GT driver experiences handling not found on most traditional grand touring cars sold today.
11 Push Button Electrochromic Glass Roof
The window configuration on the McLaren GT offers exceptional visibility to the driver and passenger. A bonus is the push button electrochromic glass roof. With the touch of a button, the cabin can be darkened on those days when the sun is blazing. It can be lighted as well, to give the cabin an open feeling.
10 Interior Pioneer or Luxe Package Options
GT buyers can choose to upgrade with the Pioneer or Luxe package for $9,500. Both include ambient interior lighting, a power-adjustable steering column, power-operated seats with heaters, and package-specific Aniline leather trim and interior colors.
The upgrades also feature a cargo area lined in Super Fabric, a material with tiny guard plates woven into the fabric to protect the trunk floor.
9 Softest Seats of any McLaren Vehicle
Adjusting the seating on the GT requires squeezing a hand uncomfortably between the center console and the seat searching for the right button.
Once adjusted, the seats with extra padding using the softest leather of any McLaren, are ideal for long journeys. As with most performance vehicles, lumbar control is included for lower back support.
8 Premium Package Tackles Steep Driveways
McLaren offers a Premium package for the GT at a price of $5,500. The option provides a front-end lift to avoid scraping the front air dam when entering steep driveways or riding over road obstacles. A power-operated rear hatch, power-folding side mirrors, a luggage area cover, and a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system are also included in the package.
7 Fine-tuned Exhaust for a Richer Note
The physics of car exhaust sound is complicated, depending upon several factors. The exhaust system comprising of pipe at various diameters, mufflers, resonators, and catalytic converters has much to do with the note produced.
The McLaren GT has a longer body than other models, which requires a longer exhaust system producing a lower richer tone. The twin-turbocharged engine sounds more like a V8 than other McLaren cars.
6 Luxurious Interior Swathed in Cashmere?
Luxury automakers have recently abandoned traditional leather for wool or other high-quality fabrics like cashmere.
Romulus Rost, head of interior design at Bentley Motors, says, “Leather was for the driver in the rain. This year we had a Bentayga SUV model at the Cheltenham Gold Cup racing week that had cashmere door panels, and we are thinking about also having cashmere headlining.”
On the McLaren GT, cashmere is offered as an optional textile interior garnish.
5 Suspension with Adaptive Dampers
McLaren has equipped the GT with a suspension that includes proactive dampers (borrowed from the 720S).
The dampers learn from previous road scenarios to predict what degree of damping will be needed to deal with current conditions and adjusts to suit. In Comfort mode, they adeptly control the car's body motions without tiring its occupants. Sport and Track modes are available for drivers who desire more “road feel.”
4 Two-Seater with the Engine Behind the Driver
Gran Turismo is the designation of cars designed to travel long distances in comfort and style.
While most GT autos are high-performance vehicles, they often include features that make them more comfortable, like leather seats and softer suspensions. A GT model is typically larger and heavier than a regular sports car and has the engine in front, rear-wheel drive, a two-plus-two layout, and a semi-practical trunk.
The McLaren GT differs with a mid-engine and seats for only two.
3 Focus on Comfort and Refinement Means a Longer Body
Comfort and refinement in the McLaren GT are achieved with thicker laminated glass, softer engine mounts, and extra soundproofing. These features reduce frequencies that might move through the carbon-fiber structure.
The focus on comfort resulted in a body on the GT that's longer than any other Sports or Super Series McLaren. At 3,384 pounds, the GT is only 70-lb heavier and 5.9 inches longer than its 570GT predecessor.
2 The Base Price of the McLaren GT is $210,000
The GT, at $210,000, competes with the Aston Martin DB11 AMR and the Bentley Continental GT for price. However, the Gran Tourismo could easily reach $250,000 with various factory option packages.
For those buyers who believe the exhaust note is a bit subdued for a GT car, a sport exhaust is available for a mere $3,500 to fix the issue, making the price a bit higher.
1 GT or Supercar?
McLaren claims their new 2020 GT is an innovative machine. However, critics contend the vehicle is a detuned, softer, and less exciting supercar with a few GT amenities like room for golf clubs.
The GT’s cabin, a carry-over from the 570, is tight inside for a driver over the average height or weight. The flip-up dihedral doors are more characteristic of supercars and require some dexterity to use for sliding in and out of the vehicle. What’s more, the powertrain is closer to that of a high-performance car than a typical cruising GT model.
Perhaps the McLaren GT is neither supercar or GT, but in a category by itself.
Sources: caranddriver.com, roadandtrack.com, carbuzz.com, cnet.com