DETROIT — At first glance, McLaren Automotive's new GT looks like another supercar. But as a grand tourer, there's more to it.
McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt even dares to use a phrase that is rarely heard out on the racetrack: luggage space.
"It's a more usable, less extreme product," Flewitt said of the model, which is arriving at dealerships. "It's comfortable, it's luxurious, it's quieter, it has more luggage space."
The GT starts at $214,200, including shipping, and is slotted, pricewise, above the 570S model in McLaren's Sports Series but below the 720S in the brand's Super Series lineup.
"Rationally, you'd say, 'Hey, that car is going to take a lot of volume; it's going to be a real success for us,' " Flewitt said in a recent interview here. "And I think it will be, but I think it'll take time."
That's because McLaren, with a pedigree of motorsports and supercars, has been focused on performance and track chops.
But a grand tourer is all about comfort.
"People don't think so much of GTs because we've not been a GT brand," Flewitt said. "We need to grow that awareness — our customers need to try the car, people need to fall in love with the car, so it'll be a progressive growth."
While it's still a lightweight, midengine two-seater, the GT still gives the portfolio more breadth, Flewitt said.
"We've just broadened our offering from our Ultimate cars, our Super Series and Sports Series, we've got our LTs and track derivatives, and now the GT car," Flewitt said. "It broadens the appeal. It will take time for the customer audience to start to associate that with McLaren because we're not traditionally a GT brand. But as they do and as they drive the car, I think they'll love it."