'Buying' a McLaren 570GT

You'll know by now there's a new McLaren coming, the 720S arguably stealing the Geneva show as far as our PH coverage went. There's another McLaren coming though, one I'm even more excited about. Because it's going to be my McLaren. Yup, basically I'm Spawny Get made real.

"Now Mr Trent, orange with green might not work."
"Now Mr Trent, orange with green might not work."
Being roughly (OK, exactly) £155,755 short of doing this for real I have somehow managed to charm McLaren into letting us run a 570GT on the PH Fleet. Better than that I got to spec it from scratch, offering an insight into what it's like to walk into a McLaren dealership, configure a car, shake on the deal and then enjoy the anticipation of what's to come. This was back in December and, full disclosure, no actual money changed hands. Other than for the symbolic Hot Wheels P1 I bought for my four-year-old so I could - truthfully - say "I went to a McLaren dealership and bought a car".

Even on the understanding this was going through the motions 'sales controller' Simon Snowball at McLaren's Knightsbridge showroom demonstrated commendable patience indulging my (in)decision. If I'm only going to get to do this once I might as well enjoy the experience, right?

So why a GT and not an S? I'd say it was an agonising choice. Can't pretend it was exactly life or death but it did cause me some sleepless nights. Fresh out of driving a very orangeS I'd have said I was more aligned with this end of the Sports Series spectrum. Mainly because notions of maturity, comfort and refinement aren't ones I'd put at the front of my 'buying' decision for such a car. Hand on heart I prefer the looks of it too, the way the contrasting sections of bodywork inform you of the way the air goes over, around and through the bodywork a really effective combination of form and function. Goes alright too.

Tough 'lucky git' decision to make...
Tough 'lucky git' decision to make...
There's something interesting about the GT though. And a frisson of 'did I make the right call?' will hopefully provide an interesting narrative. 'My' McLaren will be a car to live with, drive every day and use as my primary transport. I'm going to be spending the vast majority of my time on the road too, doing normal stuff at normal speeds. I'm intrigued to see if the GT really can combine a degree of daily refinement with a sense of the S's raw excitement when opportunity arises. You'd have to hope so, given I'll have 570hp in a car weighing about the same as a Porsche Cayman.

So to my spec. Having been advised GT customers tend towards more subtle colours I was originally tempted by the 'Pacific' blue worn by some of the launch cars. With the aid of a selection of painted blocks Simon was able to start the configuration process, equivalent ones for the upholstery helping coordinate paint with interior. For a laugh I first went as tasteless as possible - Mantis Green with orange leather. Then we started playing with the Pacific and some tan leathers. This was more like it. Then a curve ball - maybe something lighter like Ice Silver from the second tier 'Elite' range for £3,490. As night fell outside the Knightsbridge showroom and matt wrapped supercars came out to play I pondered how much better this might look after dark.

"Want that one."
"Want that one."
Nudged in this direction by the voice of reason I'd brought along as my style consultant it was then time to sort the details. Hopefully avoiding any disasters like the chrome window surrounds on the F-Type.

Unlike the S the GT comes with body-coloured door intakes, toning down this distinctive side 'graphic' somewhat. I was all up for adding a bit of S attitude by opting for the dark inserts but was talked out of it. Instead the contrasting Dark Palladium bits will be restricted to the splitter, skirts, diffuser, intake and wing. You can go carbon for these - selectively or as a package - but my thought was you either go all-in or not at all. Modesty prevailed and I went with the latter. I had wanted at least one flash of McLaren orange somewhere on the car and reckoned the brake calipers would be the place. But a polite insistence from the PR man for red badges created a clash - red calipers it was then, with the standard iron discs and Stealth finished Super-Lightweight forged wheels.

With a tactful steer from Simon I went for the £2,520 'Luxury 2' option from the By McLaren Designer Interiors range, there being a choice of five Luxury and five Sport packages bundled together to avoid any sub-optimal clashes. There are tweaks you can make therein - the black steering wheel and carpets I chose will hopefully tone things down a tad, given the all-brown GT in the showroom felt a little like sitting inside a packet of Werther's Originals.

It's on the way...
It's on the way...
I've also gone for the £5,020 GT Upgrade Pack comprising Bowers & Wilkins stereo, nose lift (past experience of McLarens suggests this is essential), a reversing camera and full suite of parking sensors. Over and above this I added the £2,500 Carbon Fibre Interior Package (door inserts, tunnel sides, gearshift paddles, steering wheel spokes, IRIS surround and more) too. A very different vibe from the pared back fixed-back carbon seats and Alcantara I enjoyed in that orange S. I just hope I haven't gone too far down the GT route and turned it into some sort of carbon fibre S-Class Coupe.

The total? £178,735. A fair hike from the base price of £155,775 I'll admit, but shy of £200K. I'd call that admirably restrained - more carbon on the outside could easily have sent it over that threshold. Full spec breakdown below, the configurator shots you see the only sense of 'my' car I have until delivery day comes.

I can't wait!

McLaren 570GT
Run by: Dan
On fleet since: Er, it's not here just yet!
Mileage: 0
List price new: £178,735 (Basic list price of £155,755, plus Elite Ice Silver paint £3,490, Super-Lightweight Forged wheels in Stealth £3,490 + £1,110, red brake calipers £900, Rocket Red badge set, Vehicle Tracking System £630, Sports Exhaust £3,240, Luxury Design 2 package in Saddle Tan and Carbon Black from By McLaren Designer Interiors £2,520, Carbon Fibre Interior Pack £2,500, GT Upgrade Pack £5,020, first aid kit and warning triangle £60)
Last month at a glance: Somewhere on the production line in Woking...








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Comments (87) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Striple 12 Mar 2017

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on with this as a daily. 900 quid for red calipers tho!

  • mikey P 500 12 Mar 2017

    Doesn't sound like you really got to spec it, but were strongly led to what would be good resale specification. Still a good experience no doubt.

  • Buff Mchugelarge 12 Mar 2017

    Lucky git indeed! Enjoy!

  • Oakman 12 Mar 2017

    mikey P 500 said:
    Doesn't sound like you really got to spec it, but were strongly led to what would be good resale specification. Still a good experience no doubt.
    I'd second that totally.

    Saddle Tan interior with a Silver car ........????

    Have me running away at Usein Bolt pace :-)

  • downhillmalins 12 Mar 2017

    wow what a boring spec

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