The McLaren GT adds comfort and refinement to raw power
At times in the last few years it has seemed like McLaren has produced a new model almost every week.
It has been hard to keep up.
However today we've been invited to see something that we are promised is conceptually at least rather different to anything they've done before.
Resplendent in burnished copper paint.
This is McLauren's take on a grand tour.
Now the first thing you might be thinking is Will Lewis the 570GT and yes that was a bit of a GT.
They changed the rear deck [UNKNOWN] some settings.
This is a whole different kettle of fish.
This is really a much more thorough exercise.
This is designed to take on things like.
The DB11 and the Bentley Continental GT.
Now, I've wondered in the past why GT has to stick to that front engine plus [UNKNOWN] plus two formula.
And this, well, this is a result when you think perhaps outside that particular GT box.
So here are some numbers, we're getting to the detail and [UNKNOWN] later on.
The numbers are 611 brake horsepower which is 620 PS and 630 newton meters which is 465 pounds foot of torque.
Top speed of over 200 miles an hour and can do 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.
0-124 miles an hour which is 200 km an hour in under 9 seconds.
Which is pretty serious stuff lengthwise because to me it looks like quite a quite a big car 4.7 meters long which is about the same as a dB 11 just very slightly shorter.
In fact, crucially price 165,000 pounds there or thereabouts.
It's the same roughly as a 570S Spider we've been talking about.
So you can do the sums for other places around the world.
And that was interesting because the look, to me, is of a car that's much more expensive, to be honest.
It's got bits of sports series, so 1470 sort of around the lights there perhaps.
And then the rest of it, I'd say is more akin to perhaps the 720 s. But overall there's also an element of perhaps son of speed tell about it as well.
It's a thoroughly good looking mature, perhaps.
Car Big wheels, (inaudible) big tires, in fact, 20 at the front, 21 up at the rear.
And yes, I think it looks like a lot of car (inaudible) here, 165 thousand pounds.
But crucially, (inaudible) on the GT, so let's have a look on the rear.
Don't actually play golf despite the look of that.
And obviously, a golf bag in a McLaren, it seems preposterous.
And it's also one of the things that people think, they don't play golf anymore.
But Tiger Woods won recently.
So everyone's going to be playing golf again.
And you can fit a golf bag in the back of here as I shall now demonstrate.
This is a huge amount of luggage space in the back of this car.
You got 150 liters in the front, which we used to back here.
420 liters of luggage space and every shabbos forward a bit.
This is your standard sort of easy jet (inaudible), but of course you don't need to use these cause you're not going to drive everywhere in your wonderful GT but, should you drive to the airport, that fits nice and snuggly, just in there.
It is extraordinary this huge (inaudible) hatchback in the back of the car.
It's worth saying that the reason they've been able to get so much more space in here is because the plenum cover is actually 120 millimeters lower.Talking the engine, let's find out a bit more about it and the suspension and all that sort of stuff.
I'm going to sit inside and talk to somebody who knows about it.
I should have mentioned that you can even fit two sets of skis and boots in the car.
With sports equipment, I'm not so sure, musical instruments for example.
Trombone, definitely, cello might be pushing it.
Garden equipment, probably as much as a fly mode would slide in.
But anyway, enough about awkward luggage.
Here's Tom Taylor to talk us through a few good interior and mechanical details.
Tom, thank you so much for joining us, and telling us about, just explain, so this is your baby really, what's your actual job title [INAUDIBLE]
So I'm global product manager for sport series and also grand tours.
Right, and particularly the second half of that is a new addition to
Your business cards.
Let's talk a little bit about the interior first before we get onto the engine and suspension and stuff because a big part of something like a Bentley Continental GT which is to go up against is the interior and feeling luxury.
When I first stuck my head into.
One of these, the first things I noticed was well, the smell of leather from the start, which gives you that feeling,I suppose, that you want.
Yeah, absolutely, I think we understand well that customers in this segment really are looking for luxury, comfort,space.
And so as you mentioned, the leather we have [UNKNOWN] which is the finest High level where you can put in an automotive application but also touches like the metal switch gear which is functional but also has an element of jewelry about it.
So these all for example these Pieces here, the machine's from a solid piece of aluminum.
So they're really nice to touch, the perceived value and perceived quality is incredibly important.
As I mentioned, they come [UNKNOWN] the way the seat's been designed, the way the arm rest on the doors have been designed, It's all about costing you when you're in one long journey that we've planned for customers in this car.
And it does feel like just a bit more space in here, sort of, we're both tall people.
And I love the steering wheel as well, which is an absolutely beautiful device.
Pedals behind it.
The engine, let's have a chat about that because we've got the low (inaudible) on it, but we, there's also some other bits and bumps.
People who used the engine by now would say it is an engine that we have seen in it's sort of fundamental structure Before, so what's different about this one?
So the engine crucial in 120 milimeters lower for the luggage space.
That was a key requirement.
BUt also a number of other changes.
So we've got new pistons A high compression ratio and we've got a revised [UNKNOWN] manifold and muffler set up as well.
And as well as totally new turbo for us.
And really those changes were aimed at three things.
So Increasing efficiency, getting that characteristic flat talk curve that people wanted a grand tour, and then also the sound so we know customers in the segment really appreciate a characterful engine note.
So to that end, we've engineered the muffler and an exhaust system to give you a A bassey V8 like quality o the sound.
So hopefu;lly, at this point in the film, we'll be able to hear a little bit of it just starting up, and so key that.
[SOJUND] Now you've heard the sound of the engine.
It is it's a nice be more sort of movie.
It's more normal.
The eight sound is it sort of slightly offbeat, perhaps as well?
I think the majority of that is the manifold offer as I mentioned, and it's got a real really Pacey character from quality to it.
A slightly I suppose offbeat quality as well which which I think
Is a reason for that can use it as an engineering sort of.
Yes, yeah, absolutely.
So that so the reason for that was twofold it's about the routing for the exhaust with this Slightly unusual mid engine setup where we've really moved everything outboard to create luggage space in the rear.
The length as well is important, and in addition, we've used what was referred to as The manifold for effectively efficiency and emissions reasons but as a nice byproduct of that, you get this this different sound quality.
The other thing to mention you mentioned the turbos which are presumably smaller because we've got less talk than say the central Yes.
Which has I'm very into the engine to spin up to give you that flatter talk.
Is that right?
So it's a low inertia turbocharger.
And what that means is that your time to talk so fossil responses as you More commonly know it is very quick in this car.
And that's one of the pieces of hardware that delivers that flat torque which gives you that seamless and smooth response from the engine.
Coming on to the ride quality of the car, I was surprised.
This hasn't got priority of chassis control which have been used on 720S and And P 412 C before that.
This has got a more normal spring damper set up in inverted commas which we've seen, obviously, on the sport series before.
But just explain that because the ride quality can be key to this car, presumably, to give it that GT quality.
Yeah absolutely, so very important in this segment that you're isolating the occupants from the bumps in the road.
It's very A key to this car.
So what [UNKNOWN] damping control which is a first for McClaren.
What it's doing versus maybe a more conventional adaptive damper is it's sensing the wheel inputs.
Rather than just react solely to that It's predicting, actively predicting what the next thing's gonna be.
So the system is saying, where have I seen this scenario before and then practically responding to that.
And there's also a learning element to it as well.
So as you drive further, the car is also learning about road conditions and how it should respond to them.
So what's this car gonna feel like?
Is the steering feel slightly different as well?
So the overarching aim for, for this project was to deliver a car that was refined and comfortable and relaxing to drive when you wanted it to be.
But drove like a McLaren when you when you really want to go for it.
So to that end we have a hydraulic steering system which is key.
You still get that fantastic feedback.
But, the way the steering has been set up, really was focused on a straight line stability.
So if you imagine a situation when you are on [UNKNOWN], what you want is a little stability and reassurance from the steering system, so the way the force force spills up as you turn On the wheel, it's more even measured.
And where a sports, a super car you might will not (inaudible) very quick, off the center.
With this car you've got far more gradual approach to the steering System but this the speed the overall getting speed is the same kind of speed as with a sports series but the way we've executed that is different.
And again, focusing on this segment for low speeds, the both the steering and the brakes will be optimized for lower effort those Kind of urban speeds probably for the first time in my current city.
And key changes but I've noticed this lovely puddles behind here but you reach in the gearbox as well slightly.
Yeah absolutely so we have a seven speed Joe clutch gearbox.
This is behavior that you can control with the modes depending on what your mood is.
But really we focus on the length of the opening for the clutch and to make sure you've got very smooth very low force shift when you're under part fourth or you're just pulling away.
And that gives you know a very relaxed sense of progress and you wanted to be whereas.
It moved in line with perhaps it to convert through.
Exactly so we've looked at that as well as a benchmark.
Yeah I'm sorry.
Well it's very exciting.
I'm very intrigued to see what this car is like on the road.
Hopefully it won't be too long before we find that.
So, there we are.
McLaren is saying that this latest new car sits outside it's normal sport, super and ultimate series structure, which is intriguing.
I think it looks great.
That luggage space is impressive too, and I'm sure it will ride as a Grand Tourer should.
However, somethings like getting in and out are still very much Super car rather than GT car.
At the end of the day, the customers will decide, of course, if this is the direction that McLaren is right to explore or whether it will prove to be an experiment which is chalked up to experience.
I look forward to driving it, hopefully on a long journey.