The cabin is nice and light thanks to that long tailgate featuring glazing all the way up it. Depending on which interior you specify, you can also option in cool electrochromic panorama glass above the driver and passenger seats too, which chops out the UV while letting extra light in. On the whole, the GT feels light and airy inside, as any Grand Tourer should.
The seats definitely err on the side of sporty; they’re comfy, but once you’ve eased up those butterfly doors, you still have a relatively wide sill to slide across in order to sit in them. It’s probably something an owner would eventually develop muscle memory for, although I certainly couldn’t achieve entry or egress with anything approaching elegance.
Once inside, a newly reconfigured infotainment system with a familiar smartphone-like menu structure sits at centre stage up front. The reaction times from the touchscreen have improved markedly over the system in the McLaren 540C I drove last year.
The manufacturer’s nicely analogue switches for power train and chassis settings – which are carried over from Sports and Super Series cars despite the GT body style – are as intuitive to use in order to dial in preferred suspension and acceleration settings as they always have been.
If you’re in a McLaren, ‘Sport’ is where you want to be. But then, with the GT remit in mind, should you?
Well, regardless of the settings, the GT still feels like a supercar. It was rather telling that the moment I felt this thing come truly alive wasn’t on an alpine pass high up in the hills behind Grimaud on the Cote d’Azur. Rather, on the highspeed motorway sprint down to Cannes, the endless acceleration, the glass canopy all around and the absolute settled and compliant ride from the PDC all melded together to make for a true Grand Touring experience.
This is a GT, yes. But it’s primarily a McLaren. It’s about as practical as the storied manufacturer probably wants to get without compromising anything on the performance side of the ledger.
As the maker of some of the world’s fastest cars, McLaren’s entry into the world of the Grand Tourer represents a bit of a balancing act then. This isn’t a traditional GT. But then, McLaren isn’t a traditional supercar manufacturer either. And that makes this thing all the more interesting as a result.
Words by Cameron Officer
Photos by McLaren