Cars mean a lot of different things to us to some they represent the freedom to go where we want when we want.
For others their tools to help us do our daily tasks.
Some of us just love the drive the thrill of speed and the adventure.
The Open Road.
And while any car can be your ride to work and back and an SUV can help you ferry around your family and groceries and a supercar can look great parked up in Knightsbridge are tearing around the racetrack.
There's a particular breed of car that needs to satisfy To find a very specific shopping list of requirements.
A car that can comfortably take you hundreds of miles in a single sitting.
Doing so in elegant comfort at speed and looking damn good while it does it.
A grand tour, named for the epic European road trips the wealthy elite used to take in the earliest days of the motorcar Now the GT car is something Britain's top manufacturers have been pretty good at.
Cars like the Aston Martin DB 11 and the Bentley Continental GT have been waving the Union Flag proudly on that front, setting a strong template for what a GT should be.
But there's a new player in town.
And they are not playing by the rules.
This is the McLaren GT.
Instead of the front engine rear wheel drive Drop setup you might presume a GT car needs the McLaren gt sticks with a mid mounted engine layout were used to from McLaren.
In fact, the engine is a four liter twin turbocharged V8 mid mounted behind a carbon fiber tub.
That sounds very much McLaren had six hundred and eleven brake horsepower.
Zero to 60 times 3.2 seconds and a top speed bothering 200 miles an hour.
On paper the McLaren GT6 in a very similar kind of place as its stable weights.
But how is it to drive.
Can it truly embody all those qualities that we want in a true continent carving car.
Or is it simply.
Repackaged 570S or even a repeat of the 570 GT was only one way to find out.
We've come to the mountains down here in the south of France to find out exactly that.
First thing that was immediately obvious to me was the steering.
It's weighty It's purposeful, and you feel it.
It feels mechanical.
There's nothing intervening between you and the steering.
It gives plenty of feedback.
I can feel where the car is on the road.
But, it's not twitchy.
It's not immediate.
And on these twisty mountain roads it feels a little bit wierd To becoming to a hair pin like this, and the feeling the way through the steering where a lighter steering would really quickly.
The car turns in quickly, the car steering really works, just the weight of it was impressive.
The next thing you notice is the breaks, they require effort to push.
Purposeful, much like the steering, they're not twitchy, it's not the slightest press won't stop this car on its nose.
You need to give it a firm press to get everything out of that.
And that is because this is set up as a GT car.
That seems obvious it being a GT car, but it's still a McLaurin, which we previously only felt Do supercar style brakes where you want them to be responsive.
You want a firm pressed set this thing up on its nose because that's how you break when you're out on track when you're enjoying a car like that.
With a GT car though, you might just want to make very small adjustments in your screen.
And that means this break setup works perfectly.
It becomes wonderfully fun to drive If not the fastest thing to throw around Canyon Roads and through meant and passes but certainly something that gets a lot of fulfillment.
Where previously, we've had super car expectations from Mclaren asking for the sharpest of handling, the highest of responsiveness and the ability to strip second-after-second from our lap times Now we'll be asking for something else.
Performance has to be married with finesse, comfort, and practicality.
Can McLaren deliver that without losing that which made McLaren Automotive able to go shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Ferrari?
Can it now also pick a fight with Aston Martin?
Other GT cars come at it from the opposite direction.
Consider the Continental GT.
Bentley comes from a background of making big limousine cars.
And the GT says, we can still do all of that luxury limousine-style comfort.
But we can dial in a dynamic part of the driving as well we can add that to the mix this car comes from the opposite direction McLaren already have that built into their DNA but now they're proving that they can repackage it into something, That it's comfortable on long distances.
The end result for the handling is a car that in a straight line off the mark can hold its own against its super car brothers and sisters, but that will undoubtedly not be able to give you the same thrill or lap times out on track.
But the track is the last place the McLaren GT should be found.
Use it for what it's designed for long stretches of autobahn, cross continental journeys and taking advantage of the old quiet country road and the GT delivers.
Its forgiving nature allows you to feel safe and secure at speed, giving you the tools to react to the road beneath you.
Trading pin sharp responses for weighty confidence.
McLaren says this has proactive dampening, meaning that it's not just reacting to what's happening on the road.
It's actually using the information you're giving the car, through your inputs and what it's sensing from the road, to predict what's going to happen next.
And it's not clairvoyant, but it's.
It certainly helps it make up its mind a fraction of a second earlier than it would have done otherwise.
It gives you the opportunity to be a little bit more dynamic through the corners and throw it around a bit.
And the car soaks it up perfectly.
It's not only unlike any other McLaren the GTA feels like it occupies a completely unique spot amongst all GTA.
With the center of gravity pushed much further back than you would have in a front engine gt even twist your more challenging roads don't upsets the composure.
Engine noise Why is this has a different characteristic to all other McLaren's people as a quite similar four liter VH twin turbo and, Engine.
The length of the car has added new opportunities for the sound to be well, different, more GT like.
It's deeper, it's rumblier and when you put it into sport mode, and it opens up those valves.
It's not overwhelming, it's not terribly aggressive, but it gives you feedback, it gives you confidence, it's a nice sound.
You still get the McClaren experience I mean, 0 to 62 is 3.2 seconds.
That is proper.
Super car quick, doesn't feel like that in normal driving, it feels a little more sluggish.
The throttle response is dialed in for a GT car, so unless you have it in the most track-focused modes, it's not twitchy responsive and quick, it requires a bit of time to spool up.
Because it doesn't want to throw you off balance really quickly.
It wants to keep you composed.
If you change your minds that car softens that process of changing its attitudes, you're not being pitched and roll.
Visually it retains a lot of what makes McLaren's instantly recognizable.
Overall the design is relatively minimalistic, that modern mid engine silhouette untroubled by extra creases or wings.
Borrow the huge side intakes that dominate the side mirror when you're looking back.
It's the most modest looking car McLaren have ever produced.
But still at a glance you are in no doubt that this came from Woking.
In terms of the interior is very much a McLaren interior.
It has never felt like they've made as much effort for the pomp and pageantry of getting into a really special car.
A Ferrari, for example, from my opinion has always had a little bit more attention to make you feel like you're sat in Somewhere extra special.
But this has a GT car has some great touches that McLaren have added in.
The minimalist approach means there's not a huge amount of stuff to take your attention away the trim around the controls and around the screen or make it feel like.
A nicer place to be than some other McLarens.
And the star of the show for me is the steering wheel, not adorned with a million buttons, but a single piece of aluminum billet right in the middle.
The downside to that is when you're making a three-point turn, it actually blocks the screen from the rear view camera on there.
Little bit of a downside.
Another slight gripe Is the seating position.
Now I've set this seat as low as possible.
But unfortunately it still feels like I am so high up that I'm being denied some of my view from the top of the A pillar, the roof here, and the visibility out of To this car is hindered by it.
Right now through their huge bits of glass at the back.
I've actually got reasonable view out the back, but we've been traveling with luggage in there and as soon as we put our bags in there I can't see Jack.
But surely the point of having a front engine setup for GT car is that that allows you greater boot space.
One of the key ingredients of a GT car, I hear you cry, and you're right.
Normally a mid engine car would struggle to accommodate much in the way of luggage.
The McLaren GT, however, got around this by dropping the engine lower down, moving as much of the engine out to the sides as possible.
It's what gives the McLaren GT such wide haunches and why it needs those huge air intakes on the side.
Extra heat insulation between the engine and the luggage compartment, minimizes his heat transfer to your suitcases.
It won't keep ice cream solid for very long, but it's perfectly safe.
The luggage compartment is in fact large enough to accommodate a full size adult man.
Ask me how I know.
Add to that the Frank and you actually have more total luggage space than some hatchbacks You're not going to be able to help anyone move house but you can get a whole lot more in there than you would ever think.
I have to say, with everything included, with any bad points that I highlighted in the car, I do really, really like it.
I'm a big fan of [UNKNOWN].
A lot of their cars, I find a lot of fun to drive And I was unsure about this car and although I'm still not 100% sold on its looks, throwing it around these roads out here.
Really appreciate the difference this has between it and the sport series which When McLaren told us years ago that their cars would stick to the categorization of sports, super, and ultimate, it made a lot of sense, a one dimensional categorization that clearly shows that there's a single mindedness to what a McLaren is.
And the only difference is how much you're willing to spend on it, how track focused it is.
And how low your lap time can get.
Now with the McLaren gt it's no longer that simple, the lineup is now multifaceted, and now the grand tour is make up a completely separate area for McLaren.
The 570 GT was a one off experiment.
The McLaren GT on the other hand, is a statement of intent for the future.
And the likes of Aston Martin and Bentley need to take note, because if there's one thing that McLaren has proven it can do Is to pull up its own chair to the table and take a seat.
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