What is it like on the inside?
McLarens are not easy cars to get into. You have to drop a very long way down and navigate a door that opens upwards and outwards and will give you palpitations in supermarket car parks. The door mirrors of cars parked next to you are most vulnerable. But once you’re in, it feels great. Provided you’re here for the driving, not the luxury. The steering wheel is unadorned, the windscreen scuttle is low, you enjoy a wide-angle view out. Scenery seems to whip past, the road-fast-forwarding under your heels, even at modest speeds.
The seats, whether you go for the standard multi-adjustable items or one-piece racing buckets, are firm and thinly padded. The electric seat controls are very inconveniently sited. The driving position, though, is great. Space for wallets and phones isn’t generous – you might just cram both in the lidded compartment under your elbow.
The infotainment system has improved markedly over time, but even the optional £3,400 Bowers & Wilkins 12 speaker stereo has to work quite hard to overcome background noise. Can’t imagine the standard four speaker system is up to much. There are other niggles. The sun visors contain vanity mirrors which look and feel a bit… TVR. The digital dash isn’t one large screen, but three separate small screens. McLaren likes to claim it’s a luxury brand, but although the materials and design of the cabin set the tone pretty well, the depth of quality and refinement isn’t quite there.
If practicality matters, have the 570GT. Remember that’s different to the new GT – the 570GT has the sideways opening tailgate. The main advantage is it makes the car look sleeker. The 220-litre load bay underneath is shallow, useful for keeping clothes flat or maybe a tennis racket, but not much more. The squarer 150-litre area in the nose is arguably more useful.