The GT, McLaren's latest enfant terrible in the Grand Tourer segment arrives in Singapore
There's a reason why they call it the 'McLaren Way', because the brand is legendary for doing things its way, as opposed to benchmarking its rivals. Even the 600LT was benchmarked internally against the 675LT, as opposed to the usual suspects.
(Click HERE for our 600LT Spider review)
(Click HERE for our 600LT Coupe review)
This is exactly why McLaren's new grand tourer, the GT, remains a two-seater (instead of the 2+2 or three-seater some were expecting), but has its touring capabilities boosted thanks to a combined 570-litres storage capacity, with a rear luggage bay that can even accommodate a golf-bag or skis.
"The new McLaren GT is a unique interpretation of a modern Grand Tourer: Sleek, elegant and muscular, the superlight new GT challenges the conventions of the Grand Tourer category with a compelling blend of beautiful design, high-quality innovative materials, true supercar performance and McLaren driving dynamics and engagement. We have already received strong interest from our Singaporean customers and I cannot wait to see it being driven on the roads," says Mr. Rob Pritchard, Head of Asia Pacific, McLaren Automotive.
Ms. Renee Chua, Managing Director, McLaren Singapore, adds, "McLaren Singapore is extremely privileged and excited about the new McLaren GT making its Asia debut in Singapore. This new addition will be positioned alongside the established Sports, Super and Ultimate Series families. The McLaren GT has created new rules to the concept of grand touring. We are confident that the new McLaren GT will appeal to bold and confident individuals who refuse to be bound by convention."
(No, that grab-bar isn't for the kiddies to hang on to if they're 'tagging' along! That microfibre fabric is co-developed with NASA and is supremely hard-wearing...)
Unlike the 570GT (that this GT most decidedly does not replace!), there's a proper through-loading ledge for the rear thanks to the low height of the engine and repositioned exhaust system.
(Click HERE for more intimate details of the McLaren GT)
At today's Singapore launch of the GT (less than a month after its global debut), we're told the brand is hoping for new buyers from outside the McLaren fold, including prospects looking towards the Aston Martin DB11 and Porsche 911 Turbo.
This goes some way towards explaining the GT's S$760k (before COE and options) price-tag, which is deep in 911 Turbo price-point and a small premium over the ~S$700k starting price of the 570GT.
Despite its 'softer' touring sensibilities, the GT's performance is nothing to be sniffed at. It gets an evolution of the MonoCage II seen on the 720S, dubbed MonoCell II-T (T for Touring) that contributes to the GT's stiffness and lightness of being. The twin-turbo'd V8 produces 620hp/630Nm, and it will demolish the 0-200km/h run in 9secs flat on its way to its 326km/h top speed. If you need to ask about the 0-100km/h... it's 3.2secs.
Throw the gorgeous dihedral doors and hints of the Speedtail into the mix and it's an eye-catching proposition, if you can appreciate where it sits in terms of product placement.
We 'get' that McLaren has done away with the superfluous rear seats, because arguably they're seldom used, and McLaren is still a performance brand at heart, so a car's dynamics are of paramount importance. Sometimes though, it's not about whether or not the rear seats are used, but the fact that they're there...
PHOTOS David Khoo / McLaren
VIDEO David Khoo