McLaren’s next supercar will focus on comfort as well as performance

McLaren GT teaser

McLaren’s supercars are pretty good on a racetrack, but the company’s next model is aimed more for the road. Scheduled for a May 15 unveiling, the new McLaren is called the GT. That’s short for “Grand Touring,” a descriptor automakers traditionally apply to cars that are fast, but also comfortable enough for long-distance journeys. That seems to be what McLaren has in mind for its GT.

The McLaren GT was announced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, and at the time, CEO Mike Flewitt said the car would have “continent-crossing capability.” McLaren even sent a prototype on a drive from its testing base in Barcelona, Spain, to its headquarters in Woking, England, with two occupants and a full complement of luggage as part of the testing program. Flewitt also said the GT would share DNA with McLaren’s $2.2 million, 1,035-horsepower Speedtail, which the company describes as its “hyper GT.”

Similarities with the Speedtail will likely be limited to styling. Motor Authority reports that the GT won’t get the Speedtail’s unusual three-abreast seating arrangement, both to increase cabin space and ensure the car will meet U.S. regulations. The Speedtail isn’t road legal in the U.S.; customers are expected to import them under the “Show and Display” exemption that allows certain cars to be brought into the country as showpieces.

McLaren considers the Speedtail to be a grand touring car as well, but with its relatively small cabin, jaw-dropping price tag, and lack of luggage space, it’s not ideal for long trips. The automaker also has the 570GT, a version of its “entry-level” model with an expanded cargo compartment over the engine bay. That change didn’t exactly transform the 570 into a grand tourer, either, so it will be interesting to see if McLaren can finally do the concept justice with the GT.

McLaren currently divides its lineup into three “series” — Sports Series, Super Series, and Ultimate Series — but the GT will be a stand-alone model that won’t fit into any of them. McLaren isn’t ready to discuss specifications, but the GT could use a version of the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 introduced in the 720S. We’ll find out for sure when the McLaren GT is unveiled May 15.

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