When FQ takes the wheel: Review of the McLaren 570GT

McLaren 570GT
Fashion Quarterly
 editor Sally-Ann Mullin got her hands on a McLaren 570GT for 48 hours – quite possibly the best 48 hours of her life (and that’s only a *slight* exaggeration). Here’s what she thought about the experience:

Who’s that girl?
She is the supermodel of automotives — the McLaren 570GT. This is everyday luxury at its very best. Sexy, sleek, and I (along with the rest of the world), can’t stop staring.

Very nice, how much?
Priced not for the faint-hearted (think a three-bedroom house in most of the regions), the 570GT starts at $359,000 and includes vehicle lifter, rear camera, heated electric seats with memory function, a solar reflective panoramic glass roof, extended leather and a stereo upgrade. Add this to your post-first division Lotto win wishlist, or start plotting how to make your millions.

Looks matter. What first impression does this make?
Put the bat signal on, Auckland, I’m coming for you. One word comes to mind when asked to describe this car and it’s Batmobile. Equally nervous and excited, I’m internally humming the Batman theme tune as Luke from McLaren gives me an induction. I try to listen carefully as he details the ins-and-outs of the vehicle, but my Insta-story is sort of taking precedence — this is great content! I’m majorly impressed, but to be honest the car had me at dihedral doors — something I’ve never experienced first-hand and a signature for McLaren. As Luke waxes lyrical about the carbon fibre 75 kg chassis and the glass-doored luggage hatch, I admire the high-shine charcoal exterior and buttery black leather seats with just the right amount of McLaren signature orange contrasting. At this point I decide to wear nothing but black for the two days I’ll be driving the 570GT to really make that McLaren orange on the seatbelts pop. Sitting extremely low, with curves in all the right places, this machine can only be described as an extremely sophisticated, life-sized, and very expensive toy. I am itching to get in and play.

Sally-Ann Mullin and Marcel Gull test out the orange seatbelts in the McLaren 570GT

Sally-Ann Mullin and Marcel Gull test out the orange seatbelts in the McLaren 570GT

If this car was a person, who would it be?
Michelle Pfeiffer’s interpretation of Catwoman. Sexy, intriguing, completely badass and quite dangerous if not handled with care.

What can this car do? Any fancy gizmos or tech?
The state-of-the-art touchscreen infotainment system allows for easy, cabin comfort control, and the optional rear-view camera means you don’t need to worry about backing into a minivan at the supermarket. And for those who crave the ultimate audio experience like I do, the upgrade of an eight-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system, which features the distinctive Nautilus tweeter, offers class-leading sound precision to blast out your Spotify playlist.

McLaren 570GT

Syncing your phone up to the console is a breeze.

Most importantly, how are the cup holders/lipstick mirrors?
While you certainly don’t purchase a McLaren for the cup holders, nor would you likely want to eat and drink in such a fine looking machine, there is adequate room in the centre console for a coffee or water and functional mirrors for lipstick application — although these do not have lights so work for daytime application only. Considering this car over-delivers in every other area, we’ll let that fact slide this once.

Parking difficulty level/how many attempts did it take?
Manoeuvring was a breeze although I have no trouble with parking in general, thank you very much.

Is it one you’d drive for yourself or for the attention of other women or men?
This car is a bona fide man magnet. Forget Bumble for meeting the opposite sex, forgo buying your first home and purchase a McLaren 570GT instead. If my experience is anything to go by they’ll come flocking. As soon as I announce via Instagram that I have the car in my possession, I am bombarded with a comical number of emails, texts, calls and DMs from male friends, colleagues, and ex-lovers. The questions are all the same and come in this order: a). How on earth are you driving a McLaren? and b). Can I please come for a ride in her? All sorts of colourful characters come out of the woodwork and I literally spend two days as a luxury Uber driver, taking men for laps on the North Western motorway. I can tell you this car brought a lot of joy to the male population of Auckland during my test drive. On several of my excursions, cars pulled up next to us to take pictures and videos on their phones. Neighbours I have exchanged little more than a wave with ask if they can sit in it to take photos, and the neighbourhood children come to my door to ask questions.

McLaren 570GT

Things that matter to car geeks:
The carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis at the heart of the 570GT offers numerous advantages over conventional sports cars with steel or aluminium structures. Weighing just 75kg (165lb), it’s extremely stiff, strong and light, enhancing performance by improving the power-to-weight ratio and handling precision. From the second it stirs into life, the 570GT’s twin turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine sends tingles down your spine. Incorporating the latest race-derived technologies, the mid-mounted unit produces 570PS (562bhp) and 600Nm (443lb ft) of torque. Capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in just 3.4 seconds, the 570GT can sprint to a top speed of 328km/h (204mph); a figure normally reserved for only the most exotic supercars. The 570GT also comes equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which ensures optimum vehicle handling and dynamics in all road conditions. To provide you with more control, an additional Dynamic ESC setting can be activated in both Sport and Track modes, enabling increased levels of dynamic flexibility, whilst still retaining a level of driver intervention. The 570GT is built in the state-of-the-art McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, England, just a few hundred metres from where McLaren Formula 1TM racing cars are made. Every 570GT is assembled by hand, with skilled technicians ensuring outstanding levels of quality.

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Best feature:
For me, the aerodynamic wide-set body sitting extremely low to the ground was exhilarating, and did I mention the dihedral doors? This car really is a work of art and something truly special. I now think of my life in terms of BM/PM — before McLaren, after McLaren.

A wardrobe full of Prada, Chanel, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Celine, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tom Ford or this car?
Driving this car was a life changing experience. I have never had a super car on my ‘one day’ wishlist, but now I do. In all my time reviewing cars for Fashion Quarterly, I’ve never given this answer, but although the luxury wardrobe calls my name, I would take the McLaren.

Words: Sally-Ann Mullin