The ultimate tourer test? 24 hours in a McLaren GT Car News

I go at 10 p.m. and actually find it surprisingly easy to fall asleep. Then I wake up. Dare I look at my watch to see how much time I have left? It’s 2am. Strangely, it’s not really that cold in the GT. To be honest, I expected the worst. There is a snug sleeping bag over my shoulders, a woolen blanket over it, and a hoodie to keep the heat in. With all that, it’s surprisingly cozy, although very screwed up. God knows what the CO2/oxygen ratio is.

Another human being! Max brings me breakfast at 7am but wisely avoids breathing as I crack open the GT door. After a nutritious breakfast of a bacon sandwich and Coco Pops (no spilled milk, thankfully), we head to Marine Drive, a dramatic series of switchbacks on the coast. But our real destination is yet to come: the old A5 between Bethesda and Capel Curig.

This is Wales as you imagine it: committed sheep chewing wet grass, roads wet enough to keep anyone honest, and the odd cyclist or walker exercising, making me for once jealous with his elongated legs and upright posture. As we leave Bethesda, I can finally open up the GT for a bit.

There isn’t much traffic around, so you can slow down and then speed up as the road winds through the valleys. With all of the GT’s settings dialed to maximum (handling and transmission), the sports car element suddenly takes over, with a more aggressive exhaust note and snappy gear changes.

Hard on the brakes as you approach a right-hander, a nice parp from the exhaust as each lower gear kicks in. The engine note doesn’t have as many tonal changes as some, but the purity of the delivery is appealing.

The cornering is what really stands out, with the kind of front-end bite you just don’t get from a regular GT. It makes for a pleasant series of long sweeps that skirt Lake Ogwen, knowing that the car keeps me constantly on top of the returns, even if I start feeling the faintness from 11 p.m. inside. We head to a lookout for Snowdon, where an exit right invites us.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-26 06:01:22

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