Me? I take porridge, because outside is a McLaren 570GT and I don’t need an exciting breakfast to compensate, thank you very much; I just need one that slow feeds energy for a long trip ahead. You might think that a McLaren – even one wearing a GT badge – would be tiresome on a trip that, as Cackett has noted, will mean at least 12 hours behind the wheel for two consecutive days. And, yes, there are some cars, even GT cars, in which my back would agree with him – but the McLaren isn’t one of them. I’ve always known the driving position is good in a McLaren, but only when you subject it to a non-stop five-hour commute do you realise precisely how good it is. It’s dead straight, with a brake pedal that falls easily to either your left or right foot, as you prefer – and I don’t think there’s a car on sale with a more adjustable steering column (electrically so here).
The seats, electrically adjustable as standard and heated, obviously aren’t as wide or armchair-like as those in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but the fact that I don’t for one moment want to get out of the McLaren and into the refinement of the Mercedes tells you quite a lot about just how welcoming the 570GT is.
Unlike yesterday, today is – miraculously – pretty dry. It’s still cruddy on the ground, but as we head to the coast, it almost looks like it’s going to be a nice day. For Wales. In November. We cross a small bridge and drop down into a gravel car park overlooking the harbour. The drop would ground a lot of supercars, but there’s a standard nose lifter and the GT eases in with no bother and without causing too much drama, thanks to an exhaust that’s quieter than that of the 570S.
The thing about doing photo shoots in public places is that sometimes supercars can open doors for you and sometimes they just cheese people off with their noise and brightness, or their terrible visibility and turning circle, meaning you get in the way of farmers and locals on country roads. A discreet hatchback or estate can make your life easier if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, but the GT is exotic enough to interest those in the know, yet in this colour and making this little noise, it’s subtle enough to pass under most radars.
What the McLaren doesn’t have is a terribly intuitive sat-nav system, so after leaving Aberystwyth I follow Saunders towards Llyn Brianne dam, where we think there’ll be the opportunity for a dramatic photograph. Cackett is meant to lead us, but he hares off, because the Golf is unable of going at anything other than Warp 10, but then he nearly runs out of fuel, so Saunders and I go in convoy along some single-track roads that are, to put it bluntly, atrocious.
They are not the ideal test of a McLaren, even this one, but with springing and damping that’s 15% softer than in a 570S and steering that’s two and a half rather than two turns between locks, you can make lovely, unruffled progress. Doubtless Saunders is feeling waftier and less involved in the E-Class, but the 570GT is sensationally smooth across poor surfaces yet has brilliant body control and composure, terrific steering and brakes and an engaging engine and gearshift. Plus enough space for a jacket.