When you imagine a hatchback, what comes to mind? Your sister-in-law’s rust-coloured VW Golf? Eminently practical. Your buddy’s old Toyota wagon, passed down from his parents? Impossible to kill. Did you know Canadians buy more hatchbacks than our American neighbours? We’re so European.
Nobody expected McLaren to make a hatchback, but stranger things have happened. Ferrari also made one recently. One more and you could call it a trend.
The 570GT is your basic practical entry-level supercar: a carbon-fibre tub with a big V8 bolted to the back of it. The modest luggage compartment in the front is complemented in the GT by a dainty leather-covered shelf behind the two seats. It extends over the engine a little and is housed under a single sheet of glass, which pops up and swings to one side. So technically, yes, the 570GT is a hatchback, but it’s not the same as the one you used to move all the stuff from your dorm to your bachelor pad.
The leather shelf is best suited to, say, a wicker picnic basket from Fortnum & Mason’s, or a croquet set and a bottle of champagne. Leather tie-down straps keep everything from tumbling around — necessary in a welterweight sports car with 562 horsepower. It’ll do zero to 200 km/h in 9.8 seconds.
But the 570GT isn’t about speed and drama. The carpets are as thick and plush as you’d find in a Bentley, and the leather is easily as soft. The suspension gives up a little racetrack performance for every- day comfort. The special Pirelli tires are noise-cancelling. The exhaust note is a tad more subdued in the GT than on its rowdier, non-hatchback 570S sibling, and the hatch makes the GT the better looking of the two, as well.
McLaren, in its current incarnation, has only been building cars for six years, but this is as refined and polished a machine as we’ve seen from anyone. It competes with Aston Martin for refinement, Ferrari for performance, and Porsche for practicality. It is the sort of car you’d want to keep in Europe, for road trips.
But if that’s out of the question, you could almost use the GT as a daily car. If you do, well, we salute you. We asked, and McLaren’s Canadian dealerships in Toronto and Vancouver do offer winter tires for the GT, in case you’re interested.
See, a practical little supercar, hatchback and all. No excuses now.