McLaren 570GT Coupe (2016 - ) review
The 570GT is the third model in McLaren’s Sports Series range, joining the 570S and 540C. Its loose grand tourer credentials make it the most road-biased and luxuriously equipped McLaren to date.
Interested in buying a McLaren 570GT?
How good does it look?
There’s a confidence and biomimicry to McLaren’s road cars that make them appear both modern and otherworldly. In the six years McLaren Automotive has been operational, it has created a cohesive design language that is striking, if not seductive. Taking the McLaren 570S as its donor, the GT features a more conventional coupe-esque rear profile with aero sophistication to make it pleasingly free from brash wings and flying buttresses. The upshot is that you have a less fussy rear end and more boot space. The downside is that you still can’t see the mid-mounted engine.
It stops short of the full five stars, however, because as a brand, there remains a cold whiff of web forum about McLaren – the fastidious attention to detail, the obsessive pursuit of lap times over character. It’s why it loses out to carmakers such as Ferrari and Aston Martin for both desirability and aura.
What's the interior like?
If you’re prepared to crouch, avoid the low roofline and shuffle over the wide carbonfibre sill, you’ll be rewarded with the most ergonomically perfect driving position of any car on sale. The location of the wheel, pedals and seat is oh-so-right and features a memory function to remember your driving position every time you step back into the car. We love the positioning of the pedals too, set up to exercise left foot braking, while the glass roof – a standard feature on the GT – adds to the already airy feeling of the cockpit. The cabin doesn’t dazzle like an Audi R8, but the layout is clean and simple, with soft leather licking its way all over the dashboard, doors and rear deck for a luxurious feel. The digital dashboard isn’t one large screen but three small ones, which is a tad disappointing, while the portrait-style infotainment system works intuitively to control the navigation, digital DAB radio and heated seats.
How practical is it?
Even as GT cars go, you can’t exactly call the 570GT a paragon of utility. True, it features the quieter exhaust from the 540C to reduce motorway drone, and there’s a Porsche 911-style front boot offering 150-litres of storage space. There’s also a rear deck offering a further 220 litres, which, McLaren says, is sufficient enough for a set of golf clubs. We think it may be referring to pitch and putt… The reality is that the deck space is barely big enough for a few Chanel handbags, and even then, it severely impedes rear visibility when in use. What’s more, the side-hinged ‘piano lid’ access hatch means you have to reach up and over in order to place any item into the boot, which would be uncomfortable for heavier loads. There are a few more areas that take the edge off the GT credentials, too: there are only two seats, the turning circle is poor, the dihedral doors aren't very car park friendly, and the 72-litre fuel tank gives a realistic range of around 200 miles.
What's it like to drive?
Just like the McLaren 570S, the 570GT uses conventional springs, adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars, although the spring rates have been softened by 15% up front and 10% at the rear for a more pliant ride quality. It works well on the motorway, while still allowing the GT to remain light and responsive to inputs when you want to carve up a British B-road. Sometimes, the stability and speed you can carry into a corner defies belief. The 570GT corners so flat, the lean angle wouldn’t upset the bubble in a spirit level. The steering, too, offers a constant line of communication between your hands and the front wheels, so you know exactly what the grip levels are like and where the wheels are pointing. In the best way intended, it feels Lotus-like, albeit more grown up, unphased by bumps and cambers, yet communicating everything. That all said, if we’re talking about ultimate refinement, there remains no better GT car than the Bentley Continental GT.
How powerful is it?
Like all McLaren road cars, from the entry-level 540C to the exquisitely exclusive P1, the 570GT uses a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 petrol engine. Here, the engine drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that offers rifle-bolt precision. As the moniker implies, the GT produces 570PS or 562bhp, and with a 0-62mph time of 3.3secs and 0-124mph in 9.8secs, is capable of propelling you into the horizon (and a prison cell) all too quickly.
It’s easy to exploit this performance too, not just because of the superb driving position and beautifully measured control weights, but because of the prodigious grip and composure on offer. Whereas an Aston Martin DB11 takes effort, concentration and nerve to drive quickly, the McLaren 570GT doesn’t.
We also love the logical division of labour between the powertrain and ride quality controls, allowing you to tailor the setup of your 570GT just so. However, what it brings to the table in sheer oomph and excitement, it lacks in musicality. You really have to be wringing its neck above 6,000 rpm to discover you’re driving a V8, nevermind illicit any aural character, which seems a bit of a shame.
How much will it cost me?
With a list price comfortably into six figures and a combined fuel economy figure of 26.6mpg, you’ll need deep pockets to fund your 570GT. That said, McLaren has a couple of initiatives to ease the pain, in the shape of a 12-year extended warranty package, and PCP finance. The company’s dealer network has an agreed three-year finance package that lets you run a 570GT for £1,387 per month (following a £35,000 deposit contribution), secured by extremely strong values come resale. Compared to GT cars such as the Bentley Continental GT, the 570GT will be about as common as a unicorn, which will help keep values peaky.
How reliable is it?
Only minor niggles have been reported for the Sport Series range thus far, including the soft-closing mechanism on the dihedral doors and the infotainment system. That said, all of the cases have been quickly remedied under McLaren’s three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. The overwhelming consensus seems to be one of hassle free enjoyment, thanks in part to a professional, supportive and receptive dealer network.
How safe is it?
The McLaren 570GT may be lacking in active safety equipment, but it features a carbonfibre monocell at the core of its construction. McLaren pioneered the use of carbonfibre in Formula 1 because of its strength, lightness and safety, and those values still remain. Despite weighing just 40kg, the monocell has a torsional rigidity that is considerably stiffer than a comparable alloy structure, which should ensure your safety within a crash.
How much equipment do I get?
The 570GT gets a generous spread of equipment as standard, including air con, a glass roof, sat nav, heated seats and rear parking sensors. As a result, the options list isn’t extensive, but we’d still tick a few items, including the Bowers and Wilkins 12-speaker stereo, reversing camera, and more forceful carbon ceramic disc brakes. The standard steel brakes offer great modulation and are resistant from fade, but given the speeds we’re talking, we’d still recommend an upgrade. If you fancy finishing your 570GT with swathes of carbonfibre, the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) team will only be too happy to oblige.
Because you want a modern GT car that puts greater emphasis on the drive, rather than the destination, and tailors the experience accordingly. Granted, the 570GT won’t appeal to everybody but that level of insight, effort and exclusivity will be part of the ownership experience.