McLaren 570GT01 | 11 | 2016Scotcars rating

    McLaren has long made great sportscars, but now it has a Gran Tourer to take on the best

    OK, WE ALL KNOW McLaren make stonkingly impressive sportscars, but can you really live with one on a daily basis? It’s long been the question pointed at McLaren’s impressive, and increasing range. Now, with the introduction of the 570GT, they may have found the perfect combination.

    We know how blisteringly quick the 650S and 570S are, notwithstanding the ferociousness of the lightning fast P1, but in the 570GT McLaren has created its most refined and luxurious grand tourer. Ok, it costs £154,000, but what’s that between friends?

    The 570GT is McLaren’s third ‘Sports Series’ car, joining the 570S Coupe and 540S Coupe, and benefits from recalibrated steering, plus suspension and chassis tweaks: all of these changes are aimed squarely at improving refinement. And in true Gran Tourer tradition, the 570GT enjoys modified styling which creates increased luggage space. Perfect for that long weekend away.

    In addition to the 150 litres of stowage space under the bonnet, there’s another 220 litres of space behind the seats on a leather-covered deck. And as for travelling in comfort, the spacious — well, spacious for a sportscar —cabin reeks of everything associated with First Class travel; an environment tailored for luxury in leather.

    So far then, so good: but it only gets better.

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    This, you may remember, is a McLaren. That means a carbon fibre chassis, and a V8 twin turbo which will hit 204mph at full tilt. It’ll also catapult from standstill to 62mph in 3.4secs, and covers the 0-124mph ‘sprint’ in 9.8secs. Yup: it’s quick.

    Like its Sports Series brothers, the 570GT has that ability to kick you in the small of the back a split second after you press the loud pedal. It is mesmerisingly, blisteringly effortlessly rocket-like fast.

    The 562bhp (570PS, hence the badge) delivered from the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 produces an eye-catching 443lb/ft of torque. For a small capacity V8, that’s impressive. And the power is channelled through to the rear wheels via a twin clutch gearbox with a silky-smooth paddle-shift.

    Worth, perhaps, pointing out that the power and torque figures are the same as the more performance-orientated 570S. And though the car tested here is 37kg heavier than the ’S’, at 1350kg you won’t find a lighter GT on the market.

    Inside the leather-covered cabin, one small dial — the ‘Adaptive Panel’  — allows you to flit between Normal, Sport and Track settings. You can also activate different settings for both the chassis and powertrain. Sensibly, McLaren has also reduced the steering ratio by 2%. It doesn’t sound a lot, but compared directly with that of the 570S, it’s instantly noticeable, rotating ever-so slightly slower.

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    Comparing the cabins of the two also highlights how the GT is a calmer, more enjoyable place to be; well, especially if you’re covering any sort of distance. Oh, and it’s immeasurably quieter the the 570S GT4 driven by Scots young guns Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty in this year’s Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse car which twice won in the British GT Championship.

    Unlike the road-going 570S, the GT4 car didn’t have the luxury of additional sound-absorbing materials in the bulkhead and rear deck.

    This was my first time actually driving the McLaren — yes, yes, I had ‘sat’ in the seat of the race car — and I have to admit to how instantly comfortable and natural it felt. Some of these big sportscars can be rather forbidding and intimidating: the 570GT is none of those. The excellent driving position and consistency of controls immediately make the McLaren a comfortable and straightforward car to drive.

    Jumping straight into the £154k car within less than a minute of arriving, I’d be lying if there wasn’t an air of trepidation as I pulled out of the car park wondering how exactly I’d ‘tame the beast’. But 800m into the drive, I’d settled into what one of the most comfortable, relaxed, yet exhilarating drives I’ve experienced.

    Related: McLaren 'launches' all-electric P1

    I know there are some people who are of the opinion that a sportscar with this level of performance needs a ‘real he-man’ to be able to drive it well.  That’s tosh. Technology has moved on from the Neanderthal world of muscle-bound sportscars: meet the future. A 200mph sportscar your granny could drive.

    And while it’s unquestionably a sportscar, it’s one which lives up to the true interpretation of a GT, as a Gran Tourer. The 570GT delivers an exceptionally smooth ride — our test route was a mix of flowing A-roads, B-roads, motorway and, when the satnav threw something of wobbly, six miles down an exceptionally narrow, mud-splattered single-track road — plus stability is strong and, ideally for cruising, it’s quiet in the cabin.

    Whether in Normal, or even Sport mode, the ride is never abrasive nor testing. Whatever’s thrown at it, the McLaren just copes; even when being forced to reverse 200m down the aforementioned single-track lane to allow a humungous tractor to pass!

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    But find a tight, twisty section of road, free of traffic, flick the settings to Track, and the car takes on a whole new persona, as it sprints, steers and brakes with hugely impressive force. Grip is never anything less than strong.

    As for that V8 engine? It just continues to charge hard even at the top end of its rev-range. Honestly, it’ll have you smiling for hours after you get out of the McLaren.

    The 570GT is as refined, enjoyable, and blisteringly fast a Gran Tourer you’ll find anywhere on the market; plus it looks sensational. I’d go as far as to say, it’s the best-looking McLaren in the range.

    In fact, I’ll go further: it’s THE best McLaren in the range. This is a supercar you can live with in an everyday way. Yes it’s the most refined, luxurious, long-trip McLaren ever made, but it’s also capable of mixing it with the likes of an Audi R8 or Porsche 911 Turbo S on a track.

    Quite simply, there is something very special about the McLaren 570GT.

    Related: McLaren to debut 570GT concept

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    Jim McGill


    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £154,000 / £154,000
    Engine / Power: 3799cc, 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 / 570PS (562bhp) 7spd auto
    How fast?: 0-62mph 3.4sec; / Max 204mph
    How big/heavy?: L4530mm W2095mm H1201mm / 1350kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 26.6mpg combined / 249g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Audi R8, Bentley Continental GT, Porsche 911 Turbo S

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