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2023 McLaren GT review (video)

Supercars are usually a bit bonkers, a bit too impractical to drive every day. The 2023 McLaren GT is different. It has a boot and it doesn’t ride just millimetres from the ground.

Finally, a supercar you can enjoyable drive every week? Let’s take a look.

2023 McLaren GT: Specifications

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Output: 456kW@7500rpm / 630Nm@5500-6500rpm
Gearbox: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Drive type: Rear-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 20×8.0, 225/35 R: 21×10.5, 295/30
ANCAP: Not tested
Tare weight: 1557kg
Power-to-weight: 3.41:1 (kg:kW)
Official consumption: 10.9L/100km
Our consumption: 12.2L/100km
Fuel tank/Fuel type: 72L/98 RON
Power efficiency: 41.83kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 1.88 seconds*
0-100km/h: 3.26 seconds*
0-200km/h: 9.59 seconds*
1.78 seconds*
1/4 mile: 11.00 seconds at 213.4km/h*
Max acceleration: 1.190g*
100-0km/h braking: 35.93m in 2.82 seconds*
Max deceleration: -1.348g*
Decibel at idle (/Race mode): 63/69*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 93*
Starting price: $413,897

*Figures as tested by Driving Enthusiast on the day. Manufacturers’ claims may be different

2023 McLaren GT: How much does it cost?

The McLaren GT was unveiled in 2019 as a grand touring option for customers. It still possesses the must-have supercar credentials, such as up-swinging doors, and a mid-mounted engine configuration that offers incredible speed and handling. However, it’s not the most powerful option in the showroom.

So, understandably, it is the most affordable vehicle in McLaren’s showroom. Prices start from $413,897, which undercuts the main entry model, the Artura, by just over 50 grand.

What are you missing out on? Well, 0-100km/h is claimed in 3.0 seconds in the Artura whereas in the GT you have to wait an exhausting 0.2 seconds more before experiencing the privilege of such speed.

2023 McLaren GT: Interior & packaging

Unlike the Artura, the GT is built around McLaren’s older ‘MonoCell II’ platform. It is mostly carbon fibre, and it shares some aspects with the mighty 720S. Although, the GT’s wheelbase is 5mm longer but the 720S is 5mm wider.

The GT also features a bespoke carbon fibre rear section to accommodate the boot. Wait, what? A boot? Yep, the GT has a real boot at the back. It isn’t deep but it stretches the entire length of the rear sub-frame, over the engine.

McLaren claims 420 litres of cargo space, which should be enough for a set of golf clubs or some gym gear. It’s a bit too narrow and shallow to manage a full-size luggage case, but you’ll fit a carry-on luggage case under the bonnet at the front with no trouble – it has two boots (150L).

With a mostly carbon fibre construction the GT is a proper supercar at heart. The tare weight is just 1557kg, which is about 100kg heavier than the Artura and about 125kg heavier than the outgoing 720S (replaced by the 750S).

For a modern vehicle, 1557kg is very light. Especially for one that has two boots and a twin-turbo V8 engine. However, those looking for the purest of driving machines will no doubt prefer the lighter 750S, weighing in at just 1394kg. But you’ll need to fork out at least $600k for that.

The interior is very refined and reasonably practical. Sure, you do have to bend right down to get in as it is very low, and visibility through the rear windscreen is not exactly wide and clear. The view out the front is pretty good though thanks to McLaren’s low wrap-around windscreen.

This particular example is specced really nicely, featuring extended tan leather across the console, door trims and B-pillar. Being a light colour, the leather helps brighten up the cabin atmosphere and amplify the detail in the design.

Fit and finish is very good and perhaps even enhanced due to the optioned-up presentation, with no major rattles or squeaks when driving. The metal speaker covers and metallic garnishes around the edges of some of the main fixtures provide added sophistication and class.

Passenger comfort is up there with some of the high-end sports cars and premium coupes, with well-bolstered seats providing a great blend between lateral support during hard cornering and soft cushioning comfort during regular driving.

Up on the dash is McLaren’s older touch-screen system. It’s quite ordinary to be honest, with basic graphics and very little depth in terms of menu avenues and possibilities. It does come with digital radio, dual-zone climate control, and an in-built storage drive. However, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not included.

2023 McLaren GT: Powertrain & handling

This engine is a masterpiece. If it’s good enough for the 720S and 750S, it’s more than enough for the GT. Codenamed the M840TE, it’s a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 featuring a ‘hot-V’ configuration with the exhaust/turbochargers mounted on top, and intakes underneath.

It also adopts a flat-plane crankshaft layout, like a racing car. This setup is known for its strength, lightness, and freer-revving characteristics, and its off-beat, burbling soundtrack; it doesn’t thump like a traditional V8, but instead roars and screams like two four-cylinder engines being revved almost simultaneously.

Bolted to the V8 are a pair of MHI (Mitsubishi) TD05 twin-scroll turbochargers running with titanium-aluminium turbines. The compression ratio is 9.4:1, which is higher than the 720S’s ratio of 8.7. But that’s because the GT is designed to offer good low-end response rather than outright speed.

Peak power is achieved at 7500rpm, where you’ll experience 456kW of thrust. Top-end speed is proper supercar, with 0-200km/h achieved in a Vbox-verified 9.59 seconds. We also clocked 0-100km/h in 3.26 seconds, and the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds at a whopping 213.4km/h.

Even for those who have driven a supercar before, the GT is extremely exciting and fast. You can feel the speed climbing at a ridiculous pace, with gut-turning g-force (1.19g, according to our tests) pushing you back hard into your seat. To me, it feels every bit as quick as the Artura, particularly across its relentless top end.

As for the handling, the McLaren GT is flat, incredibly stable and very predictable. If you want to kick the tail out for some light drifting action, you can easily get this initiated thanks to 630Nm of torque available from 5500rpm. However, using momentum and a quick flick of the wrist works just as well.

Power-down grip exiting corners is outstanding, though. Thanks to the mid-mounted engine providing plenty of weight over the rear axle, this is not one of those supercars that instantly snaps sideways with no warning; you’ll know if it’s about to happen because you’ll have commanded it to do so.

The GT adopts a full double-wishbone suspension setup, just like the 720S, equipped with a clever Proactive Damping Control technology. In essence, the ride comfort is surprisingly forgiving and relaxed on ordinary roads, yet there is very little body roll and utter compliant during hard driving.

Obviously it’s not going to be as focused or as committed as the 750S, but for most drivers, who aren’t going to be chasing pole position every weekend, the GT is a thoroughly thrilling drive. Epic chassis rigidity and pure steering means you feel fully connected with the car.

I know it’s an over-used analogy but it really does feel like you’re driving a go-kart, just in terms of communication and engagement. McLaren has always focused on providing a mechanical-like steering setup and that’s exactly what is presented here.

Drivers can select between a range of modes which configure either the handling side of things or the powertrain, with three settings for each. And the way the switches work makes it easy to select while on the go.

The two rotary switches can be dialled to your preferred setting, and then the ‘active’ button activates it. By default it’s all in normal mode. Leave the switches at your preferred setting and then just hit ‘active’ to engage. It’s easy.

With a 72-litre fuel tank and an official average fuel consumption rate of 10.9L/100km, the theoretical average range is 661km. During our test the trip computer showed an average consumption of 12.2L/100km. That means the real-world range is about 590km, under our testing conditions anyway.

2023 McLaren GT: Key attractions/reasons to buy

McLaren labels it as the lightest and quickest-accelerating grand tourer on the market. And that’s exactly what it is; an extremely quick and exciting supercar but also one that can be driven on a nice road for a weekend away.

It has two boots, big enough to support golf trips or other adventurous excursions, and the interior is reasonably practical and more refined than some rivals – especially optioned in this spec here – so you could drive this weekly in decent comfort.

2023 McLaren GT: Key considerations before you buy

The GT is part of the outgoing fleet and as such is based on the company’s outgoing platform. It also features a dated touch-screen.

However, there aren’t many options on the market that perform two tasks quite so well as the GT; it’s a grand tourer and a supercar in one. In other words, you don’t have many other options in this mid-engined field.

2023 McLaren GT: Video

How does it rate against its rivals?
  • Price
  • Quality look & feel
  • Interior tech
  • Powertrain performance
  • Handling
  • X factor (does it stand out in its class?)

Final word

This isn’t just a special occasions supercar, it’s one that you’ll want to drive at every opportunity that arises. It’s still a hardcore supercar underneath, though, with all the thrills and excitement lurking beneath.

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic, but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.
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