The Unstoppable McLaren 570GT
There’s always an annoying older sibling – the overachiever who walks with a certain swagger and who claims all attention and praise. That’s until the younger grows into himself, hits the gym and finds a sense of confidence in new form – finally able to dent some of the glare that lights the path of the older player.
It’s the way things are at McLaren, the most exciting of the exotic marques of the moment. Because, beyond the fantastic absurdity of the ultra-exclusive Senna, all the chat’s been about the 720S.
Speak to anyone who’s been lucky to slide behind the wheel of the latter and the response to being asked, “What’s it like?” is always answered via contorted facial expressions, rather than words. It’s a response that attempts to illicit and better explain the ludicrousness of this 710hp rocket ship – via a look that grafts maniacal fun to fear and fortune.
But here’s the thing: we always found the exterior styling of the 570 set more appealing – from the wide front grin to deep, swooping sides and a rear that’s surely more covetable than anything most SI models shake about. And now McLaren’s gone and bolstered its most accessible of the so-called Sports Series, the 570GT, with a new, optional Sport Pack.
It means a newfound set of numbers that now mirror those of its 570 stablemates the Coupe and Spider – with tuning taken from the 570S, as well as stiffer suspension, quicker steering and the addition of grippier P Zero tyres. And it means this younger sibling is a weapon worthy of much more attention and applause. Especially given it does double duty as the marque’s most comfortable and luxurious bit of kit – a grand tourer that’s really only a GT by name. This supercar, a light and wondrous beast that eagerly flexes its muscles, also manages to fit a Saint Laurent weekender across the rear luggage shelf.
Yes, the numbers are immodest. The 570GT Sport Pack boasts 562hp via a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 that delivers 419KW and 600Nm of torque to the rear-wheels via a seven-speed box. It means the blurring of scenery on a 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds with a top run of 328km/h. Elsewhere, carbon-ceramic brakes now come as standard.
The interior is a McLaren standout – the GT dripping in supple, luxury leather and carbon fibre, the glass roof bolstering a sense of space.
The main bucket to store the necessities of modern life could do with a rethink – so too the option to deliver a little more when it comes to in-car storage. The infotainment system is simple enough if at times a little clunky, with a Bowers and Wilkins audio setup of 12 speakers that offers clear tunes on demand.
The driving here is firm but fair – it’s also impressively responsive and stupidly sticky. To get into the 570GT is about coming to understand what it’s like to fly, a feeling enhanced by sitting so low - seriously, looking up at an adjacent Range Rover Sport is to question whether it’s been re-released as a monster truck.
Take the GT for a meander through traffic to the office, because you can. Better still, find a tight set of descending corners that plunder into a lengthy straight. It’s here that the 570GT will smack you into the back of the seat and force a wide smile across your face. Because this, remember, is an accessible grand tourer that allows for weekends away. And yet it’s also a car – a younger sibling no less – that proves it’s worthy of its own acclaim.
From the October issue of GQ Middle East