Everyday driving throws up all manner of challenges. Weather, kerbs and – particularly in the UK – potholes all make driving on a day-to-day basis a real challenge for the average vehicle. Even something as simple as making an essential trip to the shops requires certain characteristics from a car.
When it comes to supercars and grand tourers, things take a slightly different twist. You see, most of the time, these high-end cars aren’t designed to put in the hours on a daily basis. They’re often low and unforgiving and haven’t been made with practicality in mind. This, as a result, can often leave them feeling compromised if you try and run your usual errands in them.
But McLaren’s GT could be different. You see, the Woking-based supercar manufacturer has tried to implement some new measures in its latest grand tourer to make it a slightly softer, more usable affair compared with its traditionally laser-focused, track-orientated supercars.
It’s why it has a deep storage section in the nose. And while that might be good for storing overnight bags, it’s also spacious enough to carry three bags of shopping from the supermarket with ease. In fact, with three bags in place they’re all braced in well, so there’s very little movement to disturb your more delicate shopping. The eggs can stay well and truly unbroken, in fact.
And thankfully you’re able to keep it that way even if there are speed bumps on the way out of the car park. You can lift the front of the GT, clearing its precious carbon-fibre nose from a collision with the tarmac. It’s a useful function for a variety of occasions, in fact, particularly in the UK where you often find a myriad of surface challenges on every journey.
But what happens when you’ve put your intact shopping away? For me, that usually means heading out on my bike – something which traditionally requires a larger car and a set of roof bars. However, even this isn’t out of reach for the GT.
Okay, so we’ll admit that it isn’t the most straightforward of setups, but with the help of a Seasucker Talon bike rack, you can get your ultra-light road bike on top of the GT’s clever glass rear hatch. Though removing the front wheel could’ve posed a problem, the Canyon’s carbon-fibre front fits in the McLaren’s rear load area like it was designed to be stored there.
Given current restrictions, this was only used to illustrate the way you could store a bicycle on the McLaren, but given the sturdiness of the suction between rack and car, you could easily see this being used over greater distances once we’re allowed to.
There are a few caveats to all of this, of course. The front end of the car feels ridiculously far away and, even though you’ve got the bonus of being able to lift the nose, you’re always conscious of clanging the front end, even if you’re miles away.
It’s also quite a long car, so when you’re entering or exiting a narrow space or driving through a tight country road you are acutely aware of the car’s proportions. The GT also chomps its way through quite a lot of fuel, which is something an ‘ordinary’ car doesn’t tend to do.
You also can’t park it anywhere subtly, as the long, sweeping design and raucous engine note tend to attract quite a lot of attention. That’ll be no bad thing for many people, but it certainly does detract from the GT’s ‘everyday’ usability.
More than anything though, using a car like the GT each and every day comes down to how you think about it. This McLaren gives you enough in the way of practicality that you can at least attempt to use it even on the most mundane of trips thanks to a decent boot and a relatively practical layout. It might not initially look like it could provide the same usability as a regular car, but the GT is certainly a car that goes and above and beyond to make you believe it’s possible.