In conjunction with the opening of the McLaren Kuala Lumpur showroom, the McLaren GT has made its official debut on our shores.
As the name suggests, the McLaren GT is the British carmaker’s first model in the luxury grand tourer category. The Grand Tourer series will sit alongside McLaren’s existing Sports, Super and Ultimate Series models.
Going against the market trends, the McLaren GT is a mid-engined grand tourer that only comes with two seats. According to McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific and China’s Managing Director, George Biggs, McLaren’s GT series are designed to offer the best driving experience in any grand tourers, while providing ample space for luggage – not so much about carrying more passengers.
On that point, Biggs also added that four-door tourers and SUVs are not currently in McLaren’s future plans.
Taking the 720s as a starting point, the designers have given the McLaren GT a more fluid and sleeker exterior silhouette that improve the aerodynamics of the grand tourer, resulting in a quieter cabin.
The luxury treatment becomes apparent once you step inside the grand tourer. As standard, the Mclaren GT comes with Carbon Black Nappa leather upholstery and interior trims. The machined and knurled aluminium switches and controls also gives the McLaren GT an extra touch of class.
Being a grand tourer, the Comfort Seats in the McLaren GT are mounted 2 cm higher than the 720S for enhanced outward visibility. The GT can also be specified with an optional electrochromatic sunroof to alter the amount of light entering the cabin with a touch of a button.
Without the rear seats – which are usually non-functional on other grand touring cars according to Biggs, the Woking-based carmaker was able to push the luggage capacity of the McLaren GT up to a class-leading total storage space of 570 litres.
The 150-litre trunk at the front is large enough to fit a cabin-sized luggage, while the rear boot space underneath the glass deck holds another 420 litres of cargo – McLaren says that it is big enough for two golf bags.
Despite all of the added kit, the McLaren GT is still fairly lightweight at just 1530 kg. The low weight can be partly attributed to the brand’s famed carbon fibre monocoque, but reworked exclusively for the GT, now dubbed MonoCell II-T.
The stiff carbon fibre monocoque also contributes to the handling prowess of the McLaren GT, while the Proactive Damping Control on its hydraulic suspensions reads the road surface and adjusts the dampers in just 2 milliseconds for maximum ride comfort.
The suspensions on the McLaren GT can be fitted with an optional lift system, pushing the standard ground clearance up by an additional 20 mm to 130 mm at the front – equivalent to most mainstream sedans on the market.
In an effort to maximize ride comfort, McLaren has also filled the standard-equipment Pirelli P Zero tyres with sound deadening material to reduce tyre roar. The alloy wheels are sized 20-inches at the front, and 21-inches at the rear.
Powering the McLaren GT is a new derivative of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, codenamed M840TE. The powerplant generates 620 hp and 630 Nm of torque, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to drive the rear wheels.
McLaren says that the detuned engine features a flatter torque curve and a more seamless transmission shift logic in tune with the grand touring characteristics of the car.
Although power figures are down, the McLaren GT is still no slouch – 0 to 100 km/h is done in just 3.2 seconds, and continues to 200 km/h in a total of 9 seconds. Flat out, the McLaren GT can reach a top speed of 326 km/h.
The base McLaren GT is priced at RM908,000 before applicable taxes and options. A McLaren spokesperson said that the on-the-road price is expected to start at around RM2 million. The car is now on display and available for booking at the new McLaren showroom in Glenmarie.