McLaren has released the clearest pictures yet of its new “rule-breaking” Grand Tourer ahead of its launch in May.
The machine was revealed at the Geneva motor show with a short video and single image, and sported both camouflage livery and form-disguising body panels. Those panels have now been removed as the car begins the final stages of its test and evaluation programme.
The pictures give the first glimpse of the front of the car and show sleek, tightly wrapped bodywork, including large air intakes just behind the doors.
McLaren added that the camo livery on the “lightweight body” indicates “the number of established rules the McLaren of Grand Tourers will break.” That likely references the appearance of the numbers one to nine on the bodywork.
When the new model was announced at Geneva, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said that it could be the first of several more practical, but still performance-focused, cars produced by the firm.
Flewitt said: “It will be a car that combines competition levels of performance with continent-crossing capability, wrapped in a beautiful lightweight body. It’s a car that has been designed for distance and one that will also provide the comfort and space expected of a grand tourer.
“But it will also have a level of agility never experienced before in this segment. In addition, it will be the lightest of grand tourers and, by also having the best power-to-weight ratio, I promise it will be one of the quickest.”
The new grand tourer will be the fourth car under McLaren’s Track25 business plan to reach production. The £1.2bn Track25 plan was revealed last year, and set out a path to the firm launching 18 new models by 2025. The car also draws on the excitement generated by the reveal of last year’s ultra-exclusive, three-seat McLaren Speedtail.
It is expected to be powered by McLaren’s current V8, with a power output greater than the 570GT’s, and will cost from £145,000 – on a par with the current 570 Spider.
At Geneva, Flewitt would only describe the grand tourer as being “a sleek, beautiful and boldly elegant car, one keeping to the McLaren philosophy of every design detail being present for a reason. The interior will feel spacious, uncluttered and modern with only authentic, high-quality materials employed.”
The car will be formally revealed in May and the first cars will be with customers this autumn. The car will have a name rather than an alphanumeric denomination.
Flewitt highlighted the surprise success of the 570GT as the inspiration for the firm’s new model line. The 570GT is based on the 570S but is tuned to be less track-focused and more refined, as well as more practical. “It has attracted a lot of new customers to McLaren, and what it has taught us is that there is a market for an even more considered GT variant in our range,” he said. “Where the 570GT is a variant, this will be a car created with this market in mind. It won’t replace the 570GT, but I can see it superseding it in time.”
Suggesting that the new grand tourer could be the first of several such models, Flewitt also confirmed that it would sit outside its established, three-tier line-up of Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series families at the firm, instead saying that the car will be “a unique, tailored model”. Given the 570GT currently sits in the firm’s Sports family, this suggests that it is planning to open up a fourth line to accommodate grand tourers into the line-up more visibly.
Although McLaren has trademarked the GTZ name recently, insiders have told Autocar this is to futureproof potential names of products, rather then being specific to either the GT or a potential collaboration with Zagato.