Quick Spin

2017 McLaren 570GT | Drivers Notes

Yep, we like it better than top-shelf Porsche 911s and Audi R8s.

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  • Engine
    3.8L Twin-Turbo V8
  • Power
    562 HP / 443 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Dual-Clutch
  • 0-60 Time
    3.3 Seconds
  • Top Speed
    204 MPH
  • Drivetrain
    Rear-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Placement
  • Base Price
  • As Tested Price
The 2017 McLaren 570GT is the British automaker's entry-level model. Along with its sister car, the 570S, it slots into the company's sports series. Like all other McLarens bar the all-new 720S, it uses a version of McLaren's 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car makes extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber, including the central carbon-fiber MonoCell II. Although this may be the lowliest of all McLarens, it's still faster and more capable than 99 percent of all cars on the road.

While the 570S is a track-focused sports car, as the name implies, the 570GT is a grand tourer. The suspension is a bit softer, the sound insulation is a bit better, and there's an extra parcel shelf above the engine. The car has a handsome, purposeful design thats both sleek and exotic. The $210,400 price point puts it head-to-head against the Audi R8 V10 Plus, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, and the Lamborghini Huracán 580-2. We spent a few days in the 570S, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from our staff.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I was skeptical when McLaren launched its car-building business nearly a decade ago, but every time I drive another one of its products, I can't help but think: They made it. McLaren really is pulling off the improbable. The company is making legit supercars, like the 570GT, that can compete with anything.

Rest assured, I didn't ponder McLaren's business model during my entire time behind the wheel. Geez, that would have been a waste – because this thing is awesome. It's quick. It attracts a ton of attention. And the interior is gorgeous. That last part is what really got me thinking about how far McLaren has come. Some companies stick a big engine in a car, slap on carbon-fiber, and call it good. The 570GT has a beautiful cabin with stitched leather and a silky (and optional) Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker sound system. The cabin reinforced for me McLaren's attention to detail and desire to be a luxury company. Also, the design is spot-on. It's curvy, proportional, and done up in Pacific (blue), it's tasteful.

The 570GT is part of McLaren's sports series, but with a mid-mounted 562-hp V8 and carbon-fiber MonoCell II chassis, it certainly feels like it belongs in the supercar realm. With a sticker of $210,400, you're right in top-shelf 911 and R8 territory. I'd put my money on this McLaren.

Associate Editor Reese Counts: Ignoring the F1, McLaren has only been building cars for about seven years. Like Greg said, it's amazing how quickly the company has adapted and evolved. Everything from the looks to the performance to the refinement is as good or better than most competitors. There are a few places where the 570GT lags behind the competition, but the important aspects – performance, driving dynamics, style – are all spectacular.

The 570GT certainly dresses for the part. From the sleek roofline to the complex aero on the rear to the Russ Hanneman billionaire doors, you won't mistake this for anything else on the road. I think that's a good thing, as it adds a bit of exotic flair and helps separate it from the competition. There's a uniqueness and cool factor that you just don't get driving a Porsche 911 Turbo S or even an Audi R8.

If it were my money, I think I'd choose the McLaren over both of those cars. I think I'd also choose the 570GT over the 570S. I like the relaxed nature and the improved practicality. The 570GT is nearly as quick, and I doubt I could eek out the last bit of performance the 570S could supply. This would be a fantastic daily driver. Plenty of performance and a decent exhaust note. If I wanted a track car, I'd save a bit of cash and buy a 911 GT3 with a naturally aspirated engine, a manual transmission, and some performance options.

General Manager & Executive Producer Adam Morath: This was my first experience driving a McLaren and the British brand's oxymoronic entry-level supercar did not disappoint. The fit and finish throughout the vehicle exceeded my expectations for the relatively young, boutique automaker. The interior is spartan, but in a focused, well-executed way. Despite supercars requiring some specialty controls not found on your daily commuter, the layout was intuitive and easy to learn. Importantly, the dihedral doors opened and closed with ease, making the awkward ingress/egress a bit more bearable.

The ride was surprisingly smooth and comfortable as well. These observations are all relative, of course, but the 570GT did not exhibit the jaw-rattling stiffness on public roads that I've come to expect from vehicles of this breed. The road and steering feel was still sharp, with plenty of feedback; but the wheel wasn't being tugged from my grip while traversing modest bumps in the road.

I'd still probably prefer the naturally aspirated V10s (or powerful electric motors, for that matter) found on similarly priced rivals, but the acceleration of the 570GT was still awe-inspiring. Zero to 30 feels fast, but then the twin-turbos kick in to launch you into hyperspace. It's not as linear as acceleration in an R8, for example, but it's oddly satisfying. The 570GT's turbos start pulling harder at a point where you already feel like you're at peak acceleration. The experience left some friends and family speechless.

Senior Producer Christopher McGraw: The week that we get a McLaren in the office is always one of the top weeks of the year. This is no exception. The 570GT and its 562 horsepower easily put a smile on your face. This car is a beauty. It's wicked fast. The brakes are incredible. It's comfortable for a supercar. But it wasn't perfect. Unlike the rest of my coworkers, I wasn't a fan of the Pacific color; I'd much rather see it in orange. And the lack of tinted windows made me feel like I was driving in a fish bowl. Luckily, both of these problems can easily be fixed by just adding options when you order it.

Managing Editor Greg Rasa: The 570GT looks like a spaceship. It accelerates like a spaceship. Fair to conclude, it's a spaceship. Somewhere on the dashboard, there must be a button that takes it to orbit. Even if you stay on the ground, you'll come just a bit closer to the speed of light, and your perception of space-time will diverge from the drivers you leave behind. They will grow older while you stay young.

You pour yourself into a McLaren, of course, but once in place, it all just fits. And if you haven't sat in front of an engine in a while, you have to remember that the engine fan will kick on at just about the time you're ready to pull out into traffic. With the windows down, the roar from the left intake sounds a bit like a car coming up fast alongside. Once you're moving, prepare to collect the thumbs-up – from a Carrera S, a WRX, a Corvette, a pedestrian, a lady in an old tan Camry.

It's "relaxed" only if your yardstick is a Formula One car, which come to think of it is the right measure for a McLaren. The transmission is constantly climbing and stepping down, composing a growling glissando of engine notes. I seldom intervened, figuring the boffins at McLaren and Ricardo who worked this all out are better judges of shift points than I am. The car is preparing itself, in every split second, to deliver instant power if summoned. Brianna Scurry, the goalkeeper of the 1999 U.S. Women's World Cup championship soccer team, once described herself in ready position as a "coiled spring" – latent energy prepared to explode in any direction. Even if you never uncoil it, the McLaren 570GT feels like that. It's an athlete in a sharp set of street clothes.

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