Whether the aim with this car was to reinvent the mould of a modern sporting GT, or simply to show that a mid-engined, carbonfibre-tubbed car could fit the conventional one just as well as something taller, heavier and more generously lined with hides and veneers, the McLaren GT can be considered only a partial success.
As a driver’s car, it works compellingly well: it has more performance, crisper handling and a purer brand of dynamic appeal than a long-striding luxury option really needs. As a tool for covering distance, though, and for conveying well-heeled people from A to B in comfort and calm, complete with the trappings of their enviable lifestyles, it works okay – but probably not well enough. There is greater drivability, practicality and material richness here than McLaren’s habitual mid-engined standard. But the car doesn’t level with a traditional front-engined 2+2 GT coupé in enough respects to be considered a truly credible, equally usable alternative to one.
What the GT confirms is that before McLaren can truly broaden its horizons and customer base, it must first broaden its technical armoury. There are no shortcuts to that.