Artistic functionality: the inside story on the McLaren GT’s unique and high-tech interior materials
Innovation in supercar interiors is explored in a new McLaren Tech Club film that looks at the materials selected for the McLaren GT, a car that sees the traditional Grand Touring philosophy delivered in a new and uniquely McLaren way. Blending greater comfort, space and usability with the levels of driver engagement, dynamic ability and performance for which McLaren is renowned, the GT has its own unique identity – inside and out.
New interior materials are a key aspect of the GT’s credentials and appeal. The McLaren design team explored alternatives to traditional coverings in areas such as luggage spaces, as well as on seats and other trim. The appearance and tactile attraction of driver controls are also an important part of the interior design, with machined and knurled aluminium that looks and feels both beautiful and technical while delivering precise functionality.
McLaren is committed to pursuing lightweight solutions across all aspects of design and engineering and the interior of the GT is no exception. A new material called SuperFabric®, originally designed for military and aerospace applications, is available as a covering for the floor of the luggage bay. This innovative woven fabric is infused with a layer of tiny armoured guard plates, providing increased resistance to stains, cuts, nicks and abrasions. Breathable, easy to clean and quick to dry, the surface of the SuperFabric® is embossed with a hexagonal pattern to provide optimal protection.
This single-minded approach to lightweighting extends to more traditional cabin materials with McLaren adopting a contemporary approach to achieve the brand’s design philosophy of ‘everything for a reason’, bringing fashion and lifestyle inspirations to the finest materials and developing new exclusive colourways. The supple Nappa leather offered as standard in the GT can be upgraded to softgrain luxury leather or Alcantara® but regardless of owner preference all of the fine leathers used in the GT are sourced from Scotland’s Bridge of Weir company. Alternatively, cashmere is available in either Dove Grey or Jet Black as one of the most exclusive options from McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the chic fabric featuring on the seats and key ‘touchpoints’ in the cabin. McLaren is the first car manufacturer to offer the softest and most luxurious of wools in a production version supercar.
“Introducing innovative new interior materials for any McLaren is a huge challenge. With the GT we were creating beauty and luxury but with the additional layers of functionality and advanced technology that are inherent in every car we design – and all delivered in a very modern way. Everything in a McLaren is there for a reason, not simply to look good; the materials need to be authentic not only in appearance and to the touch, but also in meeting our requirements for minimising weight and performance in use”.
Jo Lewis, Colour and Materials Design Manager, McLaren Automotive Ltd.
In line with McLaren’s pursuit of innovation while retaining authenticity, machined and knurled aluminium driver controls engage the senses both through touch and by visually ‘guiding’ the driver around the cabin. Designed to harmoniously bring together the full concept of the interior design, the finishers, bezels, paddles and switches create a sophisticated and inviting ambiance that reinforce McLaren’s technical precision. The GT also features the first application of ‘hidden until lit’ interior illumination; appearing at first as a solid metallic finish, this pioneering light design reveals a calming, ambient glow once the ignition is turned on. For design continuity, the ambient lighting pattern also links visually to the speaker grills of the recently awarded* Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Detailed around the doors and passenger-side dash, the lit hues can be changed to suit interior colours or mood.
More information about the McLaren GT – and an online configurator that allows you to choose your own perfect specification for the car – is available at https://cars.mclaren.com/gb-en/new-mclaren-gt.