2024 McLaren GTS Has Foes Both in GT and Sports Car Form: Can It Beat Them All?

2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition 11 photos
Photo: McLaren / Bentley / Aston Martin / Ferrari / Maserati
2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition
Another British sports car is coming out next year - the McLaren GTS. As the name suggests, obviously, this is a follow-up to the 2019 McLaren GT. However, it's neither just a refresh nor an all-new model.
Automakers usually present an all-new model generation, do some mild upgrades each model year, and then perform a more comprehensive refresh around the middle of the life cycle to iron out all the quirks and issues and give it a fresh lease of life for years to come. Well, that's not precisely valid for makers of exotic automobiles.

Usually, they have two strategies – they let the same model live on seemingly forever if they don't have a lot of money. Or if the finances are no concern, each update is considered an all-new generation. Look at Aston Martin and their treatment of the DB11 and DB12 – or take a glance at McLaren and its procedures concerning the 720S and 750S or the GT and its newly introduced replacement, the GTS.

McLaren Automotive hasn't been around for long – the new entity took over from McLaren Cars (itself founded in 1985) in 2010, but the brand recognition started sixty years ago. As such, it is no wonder they are pushing the pedal to the metal with the 750S and now the recently unveiled GTS. The latter, a follow-up to the GT grand tourer introduced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show as the company's first dedicated grand tourer model, arrives after the original was present on the market for just four years.

It promises "supercar driving dynamics alongside daily usability and comfort" as it is underpinned by McLaren's now-traditional carbon fiber monocoque architecture and tires to adhere to the letter to the company's "super-lightweight engineering philosophy." Most importantly, the GTS improves upon the GT's parameters in all possible directions. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 mill now has 626 hp (635 ps) – another 15 ponies over the GT.

It's also 10 kilos lighter for a "class-leading 414hp/418 ps-per-ton power-to-weight ratio," and thanks to the seven-speed SSG transmission and a standard launch control function, it can blitz to 62 mph (100 kph) in 3.2 seconds, to 124 mph (200 kph) in 8.9s, and top out at no less than 326 kph (203 mph). There's also a recycled carbon fiber roof panel, a carbon fiber upper structure, intelligent adaptive transmission, and standard carbon ceramic brakes for a lower center of gravity and "pure driving enjoyment."

2024 McLaren GTS vs the competition
Photo: McLaren
The British automaker also promises the appearance is even more "assertive" than before when combined with the new Lava Grey paintjob or bespoke GTS 'Turbine' forged alloy wheel, plus the Softgrain Aniline Leather seats, as customers can order it now and take delivery sometime next year. But that doesn't mean the McLaren GT is without foes. In fact, since it borders the threshold between sports cars and grand tourers, there are rivals from both directions trying to make you forget about it.

One of the most obvious alternatives is the Aston Martin DB12 – the British grand touring car was presented at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival wearing the company's new logo and can be had both as a two-door coupe and a convertible. Power comes from Mercedes-AMG's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, making out 671 hp and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque – 45 more ponies than the McLaren GTS. However, the stated performance figures are slightly below – Aston clearly made a heavier model than the 1,520 kg (3,351 lbs.) McLaren. Of course, some prefer the elegance of the DB12, especially since there's also the option of buying a Volante version.

The most obvious grand tourer choice would be the Bentley Continental GT. Now in its third generation, the Conti GT is credited with reviving this category of vehicles while pushing the limits even further than anyone thought possible before its arrival. There's the sensible choice – Conti GT V8 with coupe or convertible body style, of course, but that's grossly underpowered compared to the GTS. And then there's the ultra-expensive option Conti GT Speed with a twin-turbo W12 and 650 hp for a hard-to-believe top speed of 208 mph (335 kph), which is mind-blowing considering this thing weighs 5,011 pounds (2,273 kg) when empty!

Moving to the sports car-like variant of GTs, we have two Italian entries into the fold. They're pretty similar, so let's just treat them in the same discussion. So, another couple of significant foes for the McLaren GTS are the Maserati MC20 and Ferrari Roma. Arguably, the Maserati is the sportiest of the bunch thanks to its rear-mid-engine treatment and the crazy 3.0-liter Maserati Nettuno twin-turbo V6 hooked to an eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission that sends no less than 621 hp to the wheels. That's just five ponies less than a McLaren GTS with a V6 and one liter of displacement less! You got to appreciate these Italians, for sure.

As far as reliability is concerned, I don't want to know anything – if you buy something like that, I sure hope you have the bank account ready to take care of it diligently. Alternatively, the Ferrari Roma is a retro-styled grand tourer with a front-mid-engine RWD layout, 2+2 coupe, and convertible options, an eight-speed Magna dual-clutch, and Ferrari's multi-award-winning 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood. Curiously, Ferrari doesn't bother with 'big' numbers – they indeed think 612 hp is more than enough to make the proper GT statement. So, out of these options, which is your new or old favorite?
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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