Future classic: McLaren GT

| 8 May 2024
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

The history of the mid-engined GT isn’t an extensive one.

The Maserati Merak and Bora did it, and you could argue that the Audi R8 and Honda NSX made pretty good GT cars, but that’s about it, and from a British perspective that’s odd.

Sure, mid-engined supercars are the pinnacle of driving dynamics, but most people on these islands are unlikely to have any roads nearby that really suit them.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

The McLaren GT looks fairly subtle, but the doors add drama

It makes sense, then, for your supercar ambitions to extend beyond posing outside Harrods to a car that works on back-roads and is capable of trips to some truly special routes further afield.

The McLaren GT does that first by adding extra luggage space, in the form of a strangely shaped ‘boot’ that stretches over the engine before dipping down towards the back of the cabin.

There’s the ‘frunk’, too, which is a similar size to that found on other McLaren models.

Combined, it’s enough for two people to take a whole week away, rather than just a weekend.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

Clockwise from top: the McLaren GT soaks up Britain’s broken B-roads; the funky-shaped boot and ‘frunk’ make this a usable supercar; the McLaren GT has a higher ride height than its more focused stablemates

The biggest change, though, is in the GT’s chassis.

It’s softer and has a higher ride height than more focused McLarens – with the nose lift enabled, it’s as lofty as a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

That’s all relative, though: this is still a low car with extremely high levels of grip, but it is also supple, well-insulated and usable, and potholes and speed bumps aren’t the existential threat they are to many supercars.

The GT can be hustled down a bumpy back-road with confidence, yet it’s also a brilliant motorway car, so long drives aren’t remotely intimidating.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

The McLaren GT isn’t the Woking marque’s best-seller, but it’s a sure-fire future classic for those in the know

It’s quiet enough, too, with comfortable heated seats, and it can return fuel economy in the low 30s when cruising along in top gear.

The Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato and Porsche 911 Dakar caused a rush of admiration for softer-sprung supercars last year, with buyers quickly realising that, off-road talents aside, they made for nicer cars on most public roads.

If the Woking firm has made an error with the GT, it might be that the styling is just a bit too subtle.

It isn’t special-looking enough to grab hearts in the showroom, even if it is much better suited to most ownership cases than the lairy-looking 750S.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: McLaren GT

McLaren’s twin-turbo, V8-powered GT could be used everyday

McLaren is in the process of launching the updated GTS to boost sales, with a slight bump in power and a subtle facelift.

This isn’t going to be a hallowed hypercar like the F1, P1 or Senna, which cross auction blocks for huge sums only to move from one air-conditioned garage to another.

But for those who want a McLaren to drive on public roads – something the enthusiast market generally values much more than those buying the cars brand-new – it is a real highlight.

The few examples that have been made will be sought out by those in the know for years to come.

Images: John Bradshaw


  • Engine 3994cc twin-turbo V8; 612bhp @ 7500rpm; 465lb ft @ 5500-6500rpm
  • Transmission seven-speed automatic, RWD
  • 0-62mph 3.2 secs
  • Top speed 203mph
  • Mpg 24
  • Price £166,300


Buyer’s guide: Audi TT (Mk1)

Your classic: Audi quattro

Four by phwoar: Audi quattro vs Lancia Delta Integrale