Horsepower: 568 hp
Top Speed: 204 mph
Quarter Mile: 10.8 seconds
Braking distance: 108 feet
0-60: 3.4 seconds
When it comes to supercars, there are two directions you can go. One is in the direction of performance, to make the fastest car possibly you can with the technology available. The other direction is to sacrifice performance for comfort, adding things like massage chairs, climate control, and occasionally, diamond-encrusted cappuccino machines.
Some carmakers try to strike a balance between the two, but the line is razor thin. Every new creature comfort invariably detracts from performance, while the pursuit of extreme speed can lead to bruised buttocks on extended drives. And when many of your customers are in their 50s and 60s, comfort isn’t always something that can be ignored.
McLaren is a carmaker that tends to err on the side of performance, but even they understand that some of their most devout fans would truly enjoy a McLaren they could use every day.
For them, McLaren made the 570GT, the first grand touring McLaren of their Sport Series. It’s based on the 570S, with the same power and top speed, but it has slightly squishier suspension, a more luxurious interior, and additional cargo space right above the middle-rear mounted engine.
However, this is McLaren we’re talking about, and those who buy these British supercars demand performance. So, having fallen too far to one side of the luxury/performance line, McLaren sought to bring themselves back to parity. To do it, they released the 570GT Sport Pack.
The Sport Pack delivers the best of both worlds. From the 570S, you get the same sport-tuned suspension, the same sport-tuned steering, and the same stability control and chassis calibration that expects you to spend all day at the track. Everything is crisp, sharp, and responds almost faster than you can turn the wheel or press the accelerator.
It also comes with your choice of Pirelli P-Zero tires for casual highway driving, or Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires to dominate the race track.
From the 570GT, you get the luxurious, leather-appointed interior, the 8-way adjustable electric seats, and the extra-long rear windshield to give you additional storage space. You might even be able to fit a set of golf clubs there if you leave some of the clubs at home.
Power, as ever, comes from McLaren’s beloved 3.8-L twin-turbo V8 producing 568 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. As the Sport Pack’s adjustments only hit electronic and suspension tuning, the car still weighs the same as a regular 570GT which is a touch over 3,300 pounds. This causes the car to suffer in a sprint slightly compared to the 570S, but not by much.
Zero to sixty is done in 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 204 mph. The 570S can make it to sixty about two-tenths of a second faster, but only race car drivers and those with the reflexes of a cat will notice the difference. You’ll still get plenty of pull and plenty of speed.
In comparison to a regular GT, the steering is 2% more responsive while the suspension is roughly 15% firmer. The adaptive dampers still read the road using sensors that make millions of calculations per second and can be set to either Normal, Sport, or Track depending on the desires of the driver.
The biggest change over the 570S is the extended rear compartment just behind the seats. Where normally the 570S’s engine would be exposed, the 570GT covers it up with an extended glass hatch which gives an additional 220 liters of storage space (that’s almost 60 gallons).
Admittedly, that storage space narrows quickly to the point where it becomes essentially unusable (unless you’re storing garbage bags filled with liquid), but the extra space is there and makes the GT infinitely more practical than the regular S.
On the inside, the GT’s interior is a marked departure from the S. While the S was all carbon fiber edges, the GT has a dashboard covered in smooth leather stitching. Dual-zone climate control keeps everyone in the cabin comfortable, while a 7-inch touchscreen connects to an 8-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, USB, and iPhone and iPod integration.
There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but there is an optional 12-speaker audio system from Bowers and Wilkins if you’re an audiophile.
The McLaren GT starts at $202,950, which is obviously a lot of money but as with any McLaren, it’s also a lot of car. The Sport Pack tacks on an additional $7,950, which might be something to take umbrage with. After all, the 570S started at $192,000, and the Sport Pack just adds the S-variant’s tuning. Surely, if the S is cheaper, then so too would be the number of screw turns and bits of digital code to copy its suspension?
Unfortunately, getting both performance and luxury demands a premium to be paid. Is the Sport Pack GT worth it over the regular S? The depends if you plan on going grocery shopping in a McLaren. If so, then an extra 20 grand and the risk of getting a few dings from grocery carts won’t really stop you. But if all you want is a fast toy to impress your neighbors, the 570S will do just fine.