All-new McLaren GT lifts off in Australia

All-new McLaren GT lifts off in Australia

LOSING a few pounds isn't always the right move when you want to keep your curves, but we at Madam Wheels have to tip our hats to McLaren Automotive for creating a luxury car that drops the weight without sacrificing the style.

The brand-new GT was unveiled in Sydney and attracted some serious attention for its technology, luxury, and grace. (So if you're a klutz in real life, you can at least amp up your elegance quotient on the road.) There's a lot to this car that makes it special and goes some way to explaining how it couldn't quite fit under the established Super, Ultimate, or Sports Series categories within the brand.

This lighter car is faster, more fun to drive, and designed for a whole new audience. Plus, it's got storage space for your skis, luggage, and makeup (ahem, laptop) bag. The Grand Tourer category may be known for a bit of a cramped ride, but this new GT challenges the status quo with its roomy interior and genuine luxury comfort. If you're looking for sports cars for women, the versatility of the McLaren GT may fit the bill - especially if you fancy hitting 100km/h in 3.2 seconds (or, say, 200km/h in 9 seconds).

The McLaren's peppy performance and lateral control are off the charts. We guess it's not all that surprising considering the GT's 620PS, twin turbocharged V8 and 7-speed transition. The updated Optimal Control Theory which adjusts ride comfort makes it easy to go from winding down the coastline to coasting on the highway.

McLaren Automotive’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific and China, George Biggs, remarked that given the car's 570 litres worth of storage space and long-term comfort design conception, it's the ultimate choice for a stylish road trip that passengers (and passersby for that matter) won't soon forget, especially if the Italian-made purpose-built luggage is onboard.

'You won't feel like a pervert if you want to run your fingertips across the car's many surfaces. The whole car was designed with a tactile experience in mind.'

If you like the McLaren Speedtail, you're going to spot some of the same trademarks on the GT. But while the car may not be 100 per cent original, it's definitely not a carbon-copy, either. The speed and performance are dialled up to a 10 on this car to reach supercar status. Its brakes, suspension and steering are custom-made for the GT, and the car's responsiveness is sheer joy on the road. All the tiny adjustments made to the balance and accuracy of the car add up to big changes in its driving dynamics.

The new GT strikes just the right balance of style and practicality. Take this baby up to its top speed of 326km/h on the driving course, and test out the gearshift paddles that are sleekly integrated into the steering wheel. These paddles, plus many of the car's controls, are knurled aluminium, the textured elements contrasting the smooth and glossy black that dominates the rest of the car's interior. In other words, you won't feel like a pervert if you want to run your fingertips across its many surfaces. The whole car was designed with a tactile experience in mind to satisfy more than one of your senses at a time.

Right before you pick up your friends or pack in your kids for a long weekend, adjust the heated, electronically controlled seats to the perfect position. Once you're off and running, turn up the jams with the 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system. Some people may think that the carbon fibre sub-bass woofers are a little much, but we're here to say that those people are just plain wrong (and almost certainly jealous). If you're starting to feel worn down somewhere around the sixth hour of the road trip, use the ambient lighting to give yourself a well-deserved pick-me-up.

When it comes to luxury cars today, manufacturers have to be willing to raise their own standards. With the debut of the new GT, it looks as though McLaren Automotive has managed to do just that (like you would have expected anything else).