Here’s an everyday ride that can get you to the golf links at 203 mph! McLAREN GT: SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGIC, and I love it. blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.


I love McLarens. With a passion. Love the rock-out-of-a-catapult acceleration, the frenetic, spooked squirrel handling, the mind-blowing, mind-reading steering that can almost predict your intentions before you even nudge the wheel. For me, these British-built projectiles are the very definition of the mystical term “supercar”. To drive one, to feel that 600-plus, twin-turbo horsepower is like downing a quadruple espresso after a lifetime of decaf!

But, but. They do come with the odd compromise. The endless drone from those monster tires at each corner is like driving with a leaf-blower in the passenger seat. Hitting any kind of lump or bump is like colliding with a Florida sinkhole. As for carrying personal items – clean socks or a toothbrush – if they won’t fit into a squashy gym bag, you’re going to need to call FedEx. Or do without. Here is the new McLaren GT. It’s a kinder, gentler McLaren with more refinement, more comfort, and more civility. Did I mention there’s space in the back for a golf bag?

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICIn keeping with the softer, slightly gentler image of this new GT, the design of the car has also been softened. Unlike the “angry-bird” McLaren 720S on which it’s based, the GT sheds the track-focused rear wing, the huge wheel-arch vents and air-gulping rear intakes. Me? I think it’s the best-looking McLaren in the line-up. It’s just sleeker, more elegant, more stylish, enhanced by those lovely thin-spoked forged alloys at each corner – the biggest ever fitted to a McLaren.

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICOpen the high-lifting scissor-like doors and inside, McLaren’s typical wafer-thin, butt-numbing seats are replaced with wider, comfier, thicker-padded versions, which are a delight. The cabin is now a sea of soft, handbag-quality leather befitting the McLAREN GT: SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGIC.

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICAnd boy does this car tour grandly. There’s less snap, crackle and pop from the exhaust compared to, say, the 720S. Less volume too. And the suspension has been tuned to deliver a ride that’s a tad smoother, less brittle, more forgiving, and with less tire roar. But don’t for one second think that McLaren has gone soft on performance. The GT’s 4.0-liter V8 packs a 612-horsepower punch that can slingshot the car to 60 mph in a retina-blurring 3.1 seconds, and not call it quits until 203 mph is showing on the speedo.

Hustle the GT along a curvy two-laner and its race-bred heritage, along with perfect poise and balance, is there to thrill. Developed for the track, on ordinary roads it essentially goes precisely where you point it. Its handling is nothing less than stellar. Pricing starts at around $213,000, though with a few options – the $6,000 electrochromic glass roof is a must-have, as is the $15,400 four-piece set of custom luggage – reckon on closer to $260,000. To me, McLarens have always been magical. Think of this new GT as practical magic.

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