A supercar balancing act for those with the funds to enjoy it.
Here's a dirty secret: supercars are great fun, but aren't something you want to drive every day. Now I know what you're going to say – the joy of driving a supercar is enough to overshadow inconveniences like uncomfortable seats, a spartan interior, and a lack of cargo space, but you're wrong my friends. Supercars typically suck as daily drivers.
But McLaren is onto something. Besides the fact that the British brand's clever suspensions offer a supple, almost comfortable ride on rough roads, within its Sport Series, there’s a 570GT model that offers an even cushier suspension, a more upscale interior, and a dedicated cargo hold behind the rear seats.
“But Brandon, doesn't this come at the expense of the 570's supercar-ness?”
Not if you opt for the 570GT's new Sport Package, as I found out while driving the newest take on McLaren's most comfortable product. The Sport Package takes the best bits from the hardcore 570S and mixes them with all the goodness of the 570GT. You get the 570S' suspension, tires, and software tuning, but hang onto the GT's nicer cabin, and leather-lined cargo hold.
And of course, this is still a McLaren 570 where it counts – in the engine bay. That means there's a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that revs eagerly, makes a delicious sound, and pumps out 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of which 570 you grab, it's going to be quick, snapping to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and racing to a top speed of 204.
This engine is absolutely effortless in its power, be it from a standstill – where the mammoth Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires provide what feel like unbreakable levels of grip – or at speed, where triple digits appear with alarming immediacy. The torque is constant at low speeds, but since there's so much grip and the throttle is so manageable regardless of drive mode, the 570GT's power isn't all that hard to harness. This is an easy vehicle to drive.
And it's comfortable, too. The wide seats provide great support for a variety of body types – unless you're planning on spending an inordinate amount of time at the track, there's no reason to consider the optional race chairs, particularly as the standard setup is so good. There is quite a lot of road noise, but none of the impacts that cause the sound really reach the driver, even though the 570 lacks the fancy schmancy suspension introduced on the MP4-12C and refined on other Super Series models.
I covered nearly 250 miles on Detroit's third-world roads and at no point in the McLaren did my back break.
To put that in real-world terms, I covered nearly 250 miles on Detroit's third-world roads and at no point in the McLaren did my back break, my spine turn to dust, or any of my fillings fall out. This has to be the most comfortable car in a rarefied class.
This is despite the 570GT's firmer suspension. The Sport Package offers the exact same suspension specs as the 570S, so the springs are 15-percent firmer in front and 10-percent firmer at the rear. It's hard to tell the difference, though. The Sport Package also sharpens the steering ever so slightly, dropping the GT's two-percent slower steering for the 570S' rack.
The one enhancement I’d happily pass on, though, are the carbon-ceramic brakes. They provide immense, fade-free stopping power, but around town, the pedal is difficult to modulate and the brakes themselves are grabby. It can get tiring in traffic.
I’d also check the box for the electrochromatic roof. The standard tinted glass roof can't handle Michigan's glaring summer sun, which drove the cabin temperature up to an uncomfortable level – I couldn't partake in much windows-down motoring in the sunshine, having to instead resort to the 570GT's ample air conditioning.
These are, to be fair, tiny complaints. The biggest issue is price. The 570GT is already pricier than the 570S, but adding the Sport Package to blend the latter car's performance with the former car's livability is not a cheap proposition. You'll be on the hook for at least $208,900, and that's before tapping any of McLaren's impressive options or style choices. All told, this beautiful 570GT retails for $236,220. But as I explain in the above video, when it comes to supercars, is there really a price too high for something you can use every day?