McLaren GT aims for easygoing drivers

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Two months later, the auto sits before you. That's one secretive, on-time development process that ought to make mid-engined Corvette engineers wince.

The McLaren GT is the fourth model to come out of the company's Track25 business plan.

Built for comfortable cross-country trips and covering long distances instead of shaving miliseconds at the track, the GT is a huge deviation from the usual McLaren recipe.

The Woking auto maker has prepared the GT for every eventuality an owner might face when driving on the country's public roads. More than 95 per cent of this torque is accessible between 3,000-7,250rpm. "The new McLaren GT clearly stands out both as a new type of McLaren and a cutting-edge interpretation of a Grand Tourer for a new era". A further 150-litres of storage at the front of the vehicle means that it can hold a total of 570 litres of luggage.

The real hero though is the new MonoCell II-T carbon fibre monocoque (T for Touring) which incorporates an additional upper structure to permit the creation of the larger void alongside those glazed C-pillars and the rear-quarter windows. In this it largely succeeds; the front and rear overhangs extend out further than elsewhere in the range, making the proportions less immediately pleasing - but a simpler, more elegant looking model has duly emerged. It features industry-standard HERE navigation mapping and real-time traffic information. The chassis has been tweaked for comfort, the suspension struts are now much softer, and the exhaust system sports a remarkably quiet muffler. Under the rear glass is 420 litres of cargo space, or, enough to put a set of golf clubs and maybe a weekend bag-that is, the flawless amount of space for a grand tourer.

"The new McLaren GT combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a attractive body and true to McLaren's ethos of designing superlight cars with a clear weight advantage over rivals". Through the seven-inch portrait touchscreen, the system is said to be among the fastest in any vehicle, with Here navigation mapping, real-time traffic data and integrated controls for the climate control. Inside, the GT gets streamlined, electrically adjusted and heated seats which are claimed to be optimised for long-distance comfort, with the flawless amount of padding and shoulder and back support in combination with superb lateral control. They're available in Nappa leather as standard with luxury leather, Cashmere and Alcantara options available. The McLaren GT has reduced cabin noise courtesy of the special engine mounts and uses a suspension system based on the 720S that automatically detects the roads ahead and adjusts the damper settings in just two milliseconds. Cars should start arriving at dealerships sometime around the end of the year.

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