Other car reviews by

Michael Woodhouse

McLaren 570GT

I doubt there are many cars that you can throw enough luggage into for a week away with your better half, but if you put your toe down vigorously enough, and you’re on a road that allows it, you’ll be travelling at over 200mph.

But for some that’s a balance that needs to be met when they’re looking for a car – it’s all part of the grand tourer experience.

Any GT needs to be able to mix practicality and comfort with a huge slice of performance and ability. And it isn’t an easy recipe to perfect.

There are vehicles out there that try it, from Bentleys to Aston Martins, Porsches and Ferraris, if your budget can stretch there are plenty of options. And now there is one more, McLaren.

The firm, through its motorsport arm, is well known to followers of Formula 1, and if you have ever caught a glimpse of those well known car shows on television, you’ll be aware of the company’s hugely impressive hypercar, the P1. But McLaren has many more strings to its bow.

The P1 is at the top of the tree and forms the firm’s Ultimate series, below that is the Super series with the 650 and 675 supercars, and finally there’s the Sports series which includes the 570S, and now the 570GT – the comfortable, high-performance tourer.

Powered by the same 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine used in other McLaren’s, but producing 562bhp and 443lb-ft of torque, enough to get you to 62mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 204mph – swift. And it is.

McLaren might advertise the £154,000 570GT as a more relaxed, cruising machine, but with an engine that revs to over 8,000rpm there’s plenty of room to have fun when you’ve finished your cross continental trip, the traffic dies down and the roads get slightly more interesting.

The twists and turns on the 570GT’s launch in Tenerife proved that, climbing up the 7,500ft of Mount Teide meant that, within the realms of the law, you could happily shift through the vehicle’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and rev range to find the swiftest route to the summit. And it became even more enjoyable on the way down.

Some might malign the use of turbocharging, but if you keep the engine speed up then there’s a lot of fun to be had. Not that outright performance is the ultimate goal for the 570GT, comfort is also a huge aspect of the vehicle, and that begins with how easy it is to get in and out of the cabin.

The carbon fibre chassis has been developed so that the sills are now easier to get over, meaning you don’t have to contort yourself into strange shapes to get into and out of the cabin.

When you are inside there is the craftsmanship you would expect from a vehicle in this class, but there are also some added luxuries: a glovebox and cup holders. But perhaps more importantly there is rear luggage space too. Behind the two seats is a 220 litre capacity, leather-lined touring deck, accessible from inside the cabin, but also from a rear glass hatch when you’re outside. Combined with the storage under the bonnet and there’s enough space for two people’s luggage.

But comfort also means a more forgiving suspension setup. It doesn’t make any sense for people to be able to get in and out more easily, or pack enough stuff in for a weekend away if they feel completely dishevelled when they reach their destination.

Which is why the settings can be changed with the twist of two dials, meaning you can set up both the powertrain ‘P’ and handling ‘H’ to one of either normal, sport or track. Drivers will find the best setting for them, but on the motorways I thought that powertrain in normal mode and handing in sports gave the optimum balance for longer, more relaxed drives. I thought the normal setting for handling made the car too floaty over undulating tarmac.

So if you want a balance between performance and comfort there’s a new kid on the block, and while your head might say you recognise the other marques first, the McLaren 570GT puts together a strong reason to take a drive.

 

 


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