After an emphasis on outright performance, McLaren turns to the idea of luxury and refinement with the latest addition to the Sports Series of cars.
Joining the 570S and 540C Coupe, the third model in the entry-level Sports Series makes a number of detailed changes to increase everyday usability. Whilst the concept of a 562 bhp supercar being practical and easy to use might seem an oxymoron, rivals like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo proves demand exists in the marketplace.
The 570GT isn’t just an exercise in fitting softer suspension or extra sound deadening, although both of those changes are included in the transformation. There are far more substantial changes, such as the redesigned rear windscreen that replaces the flying buttresses of the 570S with a side opening rear hatch. So, technically, the 570GT is an extremely hot hatchback…
Adding this new opening means an increase in luggage space, freeing up an extra 220 litres in addition to the 150 litres under the front bonnet. The dramatic dihedral doors open with a more upward arc to aid ingress and egress, whilst dual-zone climate control is fitted as standard to help keep temperatures cool beneath the standard-fit panoramic sunroof.
There’s also extended leather trim inside, along with a quieter exhaust system, front and rear parking sensors and soft close doors. An enhanced McLaren Audio Plus sound system comes as standard, with the option of a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system should you need the extra punch of a 1280W amplifier.
Using the same 3.8-litre twin turbocharged V8 as the 570S with 562 bhp and 443 lb-ft of torque, 0-62 mph takes just 3.4 seconds with a 204 mph top speed. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox helps contribute to an official combined fuel consumption of 26.6 mpg, meaning you can enjoy that performance with almost no guilt. There’s also a choice of normal, Sport and Track modes dependent on your mood.
Priced at £154,000, some £11,000 more than the 570S, the first deliveries of the 570GT are due to begin later in 2016. At ESM we reckon it could be the pick of the Sports Series range, not least for the lengthened glass house replacing the slightly gawky-looking flying buttresses. Plus, the prospect of having a hatchback capable of 204 mph seems too good to ignore. Expect more details following the Geneva Motor Show next week.