Comfort and speed: McLaren debuts new GT

The McLaren GT is designed for long-distance comfort.

McLaren has unveiled its all-new grand tourer, known simply as the GT. The new GT will form a new product line for McLaren, joining the company's Sports, Super and Ultimate Series vehicles.

Like all modern McLarens, the GT uses a carbon fiber monocoque and a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged V8. But unlike McLaren's other cars, the GT was designed for comfort and practicality.

To that end, McLaren fitted the GT with a softer suspension for a more comfortable ride. McLaren also boosted the GT's power steering system to give it lighter steering at slower speeds. And to ensure the GT can gallop across continents without getting beached, McLaren gave the GT a greater approach angle and 4.3-inches of ground clearance (that figure increases to 5.1-inches with the optional vehicle lift system).

Inside the GT features buckets seats that are more thickly padded and positioned higher for maximum comfort. Outward visibility is improved through the use of glass pillars. And to keep you relaxed on those longer trips, the GT is available with a 12-speaker Bower & Wilkins premium audio system.

In order to maximize storage space, McLaren designed an exhaust system that routes around the GT's rear trunk. As a result, you can fit a full-size golf bag or two pairs of skis in the GT's boot. Including its front trunk, the GT offers a generous -- at least for a supercar -- 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

Of course the GT is still a McLaren, which is to say it's really, really fast. The GT's 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 is rated at 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, netting a 0-60 time of just 3.1 seconds. Flat out the GT will do 203mph.

Despite those impressive performance figures, the GT is still relatively fuel efficient. McLaren says the GT will return 15mpg in city driving and 21mpg on the highway, which isn't bad for a car with a top speed in excess of 200mph.

The McLaren GT is on sale now and carries a base MSRP of $210,000. Deliveries of the GT are scheduled to begin later this year.

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