When McLaren set out to blend the comfortable, practical characteristics of a grand tourer into its performance-focused 570S supercar, plenty of eyebrows were sent skywards. And for good reason.
The 570S was – as it remains to this day – scintillatingly brilliant, rapid and light on its toes, with razor-sharp reactions. Shifting the focus to create a more rounded and softer supercar seemed sacrilege, but McLaren persevered, and the 570GT was unveiled to the world at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
In hindsight, we needn’t have doubted its potential. The 570GT, like the more track-oriented car it is based on, proved to be just as superb as its sibling, offering 99% of the 570S’s thrills, only with more luggage space and road usability.
Given that most drivers – even those of six-figure supercars – never venture onto a racetrack, the more road-biased 570GT has rightfully been labelled by many as the best 570hp McLaren for the masses. Or at least those lucky enough to be confronted with such a decision. And we’d agree.
The 570GT’s merits go beyond an area of extra luggage space behind the passengers. You also get a slightly more forgiving suspension setup, which soaks up the lumps and bumps of British tarmac with more fluidity.
Sure, the 570S has never felt like a bad riding car, thanks in part to McLaren’s use of rigid, ultra-light carbonfibre in its cars' constructions. But in the 570GT, the ride becomes almost supple, ensuring that the car is fully deserving of that grand tourer status. Plus, with a nose lift system, there’s enough ground clearance to handle urban speed humps.
Yet none of the 570GT’s extra talents come at a noticeable cost to its supercar status. On paper, the GT model, with the same twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine in its middle as the 570S, is two tenths slower to 62mph at 3.4 seconds, and it’s three tenths slower in the 0-124mph dash at 9.8 seconds.
But who’re we kidding? Nobody this side of a Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton is really going to notice those minuscule losses in performance – and this writer can confirm that the same on-paper losses in handling are equally hard to notice. On the road, it’s negligible.
For those hoping to squeeze a weekend getaway into these final few weeks of summer, there aren’t many more thrilling ways of carting yourself, a lucky passenger, and a pair of fully packed travel bags than in a McLaren 570GT.
Handily, we have a remarkably fresh one (it has only 1,979 miles on the clock!) on cinch, ready to be delivered to your door (or collected by you) well before the mixed weather of autumn arrives. Looking at the forecast right now, we'd advise you don't hang about!
By Sam Sheehan