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.
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.
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.
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!
Car: McLaren 570GT
Run by: Dan
On fleet since: Er, it's not here just yet!
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...