MCLAREN 570GT SPORT PACK

Have you been long­ing for Mclaren’s ‘grand tourer’ with the 570S’s sprin­kling of chas­sis magic? Thank­fully, Wok­ing has obliged…

Evo - - CONTENTS - Stu­art Gal­lagher (@stu­artg917)

LET’S BE HON­EST ABOUT MCLAREN’S 570GT: no one has ever con­sid­ered it to be a bona fide GT car. Cer­tainly not in the sense of a Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT, As­ton DB11 or even a Mercedes-amg S63 or S65. It may have softer spring rates and less di­rect steer­ing than a 570S, but the 570GT is re­ally a su­per­car with a small, leather-lined lug­gage shelf. And a very good su­per­car at that.

The se­cond body­line ad­di­tion to Mclaren’s Sports Se­ries range, the 570GT ar­rived in 2016 with its more co­he­sive and pret­tier rear half that fea­tures a side-open­ing open­ing glass hatch rem­i­nis­cent of a Se­ries 1 Jaguar E-type’s. Be­neath it and the ad­di­tional stor­age area it gives ac­cess to is the same 3.8-litre, twin-tur­bocharged V8 as in the 570S coupe and Spi­der, pro­duc­ing 562bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Weigh­ing 1486kg (56kg more than the coupe), the GT reaches 62mph in 3.4 sec­onds and 100mph in 6.6, and runs out of steam at 204mph. I think you’ll agree that it’s more su­per­car than grand tour­ing sports car.

Any­way, while Mclaren’s cus­tomers have been en­joy­ing their GTS with their two per cent re­duc­tion in steer­ing ra­tio and 15 and 10 per cent soft­en­ing of the front and rear springs re­spec­tively, oth­ers, evo in­cluded, have been ask­ing for the GT’S looks to be avail­able with the S chas­sis. And Mclaren has obliged with the of­fer­ing of a Sport Pack for the 570GT.

De­signed to align the GT with the S coupe and Spi­der, the Sport Pack pro­vides the same steer­ing and chas­sis set­tings as the afore­men­tioned mod­els. So the steer­ing rack, damper ac­tu­a­tors and up­rights are now the same as they are on the S, with the adap­tive damp­ing and sta­bil­ity con­trol re­cal­i­brated to match those of the coupe, too. You can also have the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyre fit­ted, and

car­bon-ce­ramic brakes are now stan­dard.

The cost of the base GT has re­cently in­creased by £3000 to £157,000, and the Sport Pack will cost you an ad­di­tional £4900. Mclaren has also taken the op­por­tu­nity to of­fer an Mso-de­vel­oped elec­trochromic roof that al­lows you to ad­just the tint level, and five new design packs are avail­able that con­sist of pop­u­lar ex­te­rior colours matched to ‘By Mclaren’ in­te­rior design themes.

Drive a 570S coupe and a stan­dard GT backto-back and what look like min­i­mal chas­sis changes on pa­per stack up to be no­tice­able changes from be­hind the wheel. In­stantly the GT tracks bet­ter, mas­ter­ing poor sur­faces where the coupe be­comes a lit­tle fid­gety. The GT’S steer­ing wheel is less ac­tive in your hands, too, but at the ex­pense of the small­est amount of feed­back and feel.

Drive the GT Sport Pack and all of the afore­men­tioned is re­placed with the coupe’s re­sponses. The steer­ing wheel writhes in your hands, tug­ging left and right, ex­pect­ing you to take com­plete con­trol. In to­day’s world of elec­tri­cally as­sisted sys­tems, Mclaren’s hy­draulic set-up re­mains an ex­am­ple of steer­ing pu­rity bet­tered only by Lo­tus’s Elise.

The Sport Pack re­turns an edge to the GT’S ride that isn’t there in the stan­dard car, but only to the same level of that of a 570S, which means harsh ridges work the Mono­cell II car­bon tub harder, where the reg­u­lar GT ab­sorbs them with more fi­nesse. You’ll need to have reg­u­lar and Sport Pack GTS to hand to spot the dif­fer­ences in this re­spect, though, or be a Mclaren en­gi­neer.

Nei­ther the steer­ing nor chas­sis changes dull any of the GT’S shine: it still de­vours a road with star­tling com­pe­tence. The stiffer spring rates elim­i­nate the dive and body roll that a 570GT could ex­hibit when re­ally pushed, and de­liver the con­fi­dence and re­as­sur­ance all of Mclaren’s Su­per Se­ries chas­sis of­fer.

On track is where the Sport Pack ad­van­tages re­ally take hold. The more solidly con­trolled chas­sis and body per­form as their coupe coun­ter­parts, with slack all but elim­i­nated, and as on the road the nose still re­fuses to dive un­der brak­ing or rise un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion. Com­bine this with those car­bon ce­ramic brakes and the 570GT Sport Pack per­forms to the equal of the coupe.

With no me­chan­i­cal lock­ing dif­fer­en­tial, this 570GT, like all Mclarens, can be a bit Jekyll and Hyde when you start to take lib­er­ties with it. There’s al­ways more front-end grip than you ex­pect, pro­vid­ing the en­cour­age­ment to lay on more throt­tle. Get it right and the GT is yours to bal­ance as you wish. Ap­ply a fin­ger­nail’s thick­ness too much throt­tle, how­ever, and the V8’s turbos will spool up, and de­spite their best ef­forts the Cor­sas will light up in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as they va­por­ise some rub­ber and be­come the chief sus­pect in your fall. For all the du­al­ity Mclaren has en­gi­neered into its cars, the 570GT Sport Pack’s su­per­car cre­den­tials still de­mand a de­gree of re­spect at the limit, as they should.

There is much to ad­mire about the 570GT in stan­dard form, but for us, and I sus­pect many an reader, the Sport Pack gives it the edge that makes the 570S such a com­pelling pack­age. The 570GT is still not a great GT car, but in this trim it’s an even bet­ter su­per­car.

‘The wheel writhes in your hands, tug­ging left and right, ex­pect­ing you to take com­plete con­trol’

Above: glass roof can be ad­justed for tint level. Be­low left: Sport Pack chas­sis re­ally shines on track, but rear end can be tricky at the limit. Be­low right: car­bon-ce­ramic brakes are now stan­dard

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