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I Test Drove the New 2024 McLaren GT, a Supercar for Everyday Drivers

I Test Drove the New 2024 McLaren GT, a Supercar for Everyday Drivers

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As the new 2024 McLaren GT pulled into my driveway, the striking color combination of the Belize Blue body cloaked by a shining gloss black roof immediately put a grin on my face. This was going to be a fun weekend. I had been given the opportunity to test drive McLaren’s entrant in the Grand Touring category for the weekend, taking delivery on a Friday afternoon and not having to hand back the keys until Monday. Spoiled for choice of beautiful coastal routes in California, I excitedly set about planning a selection of roads to put the McLaren through its paces.

John Cowan


In all honesty, the Grand Tourers have never been my “go-to” class of car. I generally considered them to be a bulkier, heavier version of their sleeker, more agile supercar siblings, to which I normally gravitate. However, weighing in at almost 2,000 pounds lighter than the Bentley Continental GT, which has become the poster boy of this class, the 2024 McLaren had me feeling secretly optimistic.

Lifting the dihedral doors and sinking down into the cabin, I was greeted by a surprisingly spacious and refined interior which felt somewhat stripped back from the overly lavish interiors found in its competitors, this GT staying far truer to the race-ready lineup of McLarens such as the Artura and the 750s. The innovative interior trim possibilities, which include an elegant option combining leather and cashmere, have been brought to life by McLaren’s color and materials design manager, Jo Lewis, who has focused on curating authentic materials in a McLaren way, ultimately delivering a best-in-class lifestyle and fashion product.

Courtesy of Mclaren Automotive 


We woke early on Saturday to drive the iconic Pacific Coast Highway from Manhattan Beach to Malibu, the mid-engined 4.0L V8 rumbling behind us as we cruised through famed palm tree–lined beach cities including Venice Beach and Santa Monica, capturing the attention of motorists and pedestrians alike. While it has a modest speed limit, the PCH was a fun ride in the McLaren with many opportunities to turn heads as I pushed and tested the GT’s torque as we sped away from every red light and stop sign that we encountered.

After a short rest for lunch at the Malibu Pier, it was time to move on to the main event of the day. Malibu is home to some of the finest canyon road drives in the world and offered the perfect way to test the McLaren GT’s handling. We sped up the winding roads which transport you hundreds of feet above the glistening Pacific in a matter of seconds, aggressively turning into tight corners and cruising out like we were on tracks — it was almost as impressive as it was exhilarating. On our way back to the South Bay, we stopped at our local classic car club, Garage 77, for a quick photoshoot alongside the club’s prized 1969 Jaguar E Type before heading home after a memorable day of driving.

Courtesy of Mclaren Automotive 


I couldn’t wait to wake up on Sunday to get back behind the wheel of the McLaren. With the cliffside roads of Palos Verdes awaiting us, we set out to see how the GT performed on a normal Sunday in California. Stopping at Terranea Resort, one of California’s most luxurious resorts where we were greeted like celebrities, the valet insisted the car was parked front and center at the main hotel entrance. I was even able to pack my golf clubs into the trunk, which has been thoughtfully carved out under the long, glass tailgate. I noticed I was able to expertly navigate the hurdles which line Terranea Way, raising the front wing a few inches at the touch of a button to ensure we safely cleared every speed bump. 

Courtesy of Mclaren Automotive 


Monday started with a trip to the grocery store, and of course I wasn’t going to leave the McLaren at home. With ample room to pack my weekly food shopping, the GT once again proved itself to be a worthy supercar for the daily driver. 

Courtesy of Mclaren Automotive 


Then it was a trip to LAX to drop off a friend for a flight, his carry-on luggage comfortably slotting into the generous storage under the hood. However, this wasn’t the saddest departure of the day. The McLaren was collected mid-afternoon, and as I watched the beautiful Belize Blue fade into the backdrop of a grey, cloudy California sky, I’m still not sure if it was tears or raindrops running down my cheek.



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