Surprise McLaren Grand Tourer to be launched later this year

New McLaren Grand Tourer

A grand tourer is the fourth model to be released as part of McLaren’s Track25 business plan

McLaren CEO mike Flewitt confirms it will be linked to Speedtail hypercar, prompting speculation it could be a three-seater

McLaren will launch an all-new Grand Tourer model later this later this year – and it has hinted that it could be the first of several more practical McLarens to be produced.

The surprise announcement was made during McLaren’s press conference at the Geneva motor show by its CEO Mike Flewitt, who confirmed: ““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 with 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. In addition, it will be the only Grand Tourer to share its DNA with the 250mph McLaren Speedtail.”   

The new GT 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.

While Flewitt spoke a video played showing the new car testing, in heavy camouflage and bearing the words #newrules and numbers, thought to refer to the fact it is the tenth new car to be launched by the firm, although it has not been specified and there are historical arguments over whether some of the firm’s models should be regarded as derivatives or new launches.

Flewitt’s comment relating to the car’s links to the three-seat McLaren Speedtail have also led to speculation that the new GT could have an innovative seating layout. The video did not reveal any of the new McLaren’s dimensions or its layout. It is uncertain whether McLaren would risk using a three-seat arrangement in a mainstream car, however, given its association with the ultra-exclusive F1 and Speedtail.

Adding credence to the theory that it could feature an innovative interior layout, however, Flewitt also described the car as “redefining the rules of Grand Touring” and as its “own interpretation of the Grand Tourer”. He confirmed that it “will be the most usable mid-engined car yet. The images suggest that it has a particularly long rear section ahead of the sloped tail line, too.

Neither the name of the car nor its final design were revealed, although Flewitt confirmed they would be announced in the next few months.

Flewitt would only describe the GT as having “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.”

McLaren has long vowed that it would never make an SUV, saying that such a family-orientated car would not sit comfortably with its sports car-oriented focus. However, but it did launch the 570GT – a more usable version of the 570S – in it’s line-up in 2016. The car is tuned to be less track focused, is more refined and features a side-opening cover above the engine for luggage. It has been a significant sales success for the firm earning it plaudits beyond its core audience.

Suggesting that the new GT 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 planning to open up a fourth line to promote Grand Tourers more visibly within its line-up.

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Source: Autocar Online

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