The 570GT Defies the Conformity of a Sports Car


eagles-mere-0466


The accessibility of the McLaren 570 is nearly boundless; it attacks a new price point for the brand, and we already proved where it can go when you put your mind to it. So when McLaren debuted the 570GT as a car made for the journey, it was inevitable what would happen when we got into it.

Our first trip with the McLaren Sports Series had us taking a drive through the local area and finding unknown places for our exploration. This time, we were dropped into Worlds End State Park – a place hardly as ominous as the name implies. We hand-picked the region almost solely due to the scenery of the Endless Mountains during the changing of the leaves. That’s not to say that we are not appreciative of the scenery and landmarks that southeast Pennsylvania holds, we just needed something different, and less busy.

We got exactly what we expected considering the town we were staying in has a population measuring in the hundreds. We had roads and tourist spots to ourselves at times and not because we asked for any special privileges. Either way, though, we figured the McLaren would be our key to the city, especially in a town where the area code is 570.

jmw_1242

But I think an alien landing would have gone more unnoticed than our arrival with the 570GT.

Our box truck posted up right in the middle of what we believed to be the busy part of town. At least 10 people stood around watching to see what unfolded; it was quite the commotion. With our truck adorned with photos of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Maserati GranTurismo MC and McLaren MP4-12C, onlookers had to have had some idea of what we had in store, but they patiently waited for confirmation. Call it Shrodinger’s box truck.

The door swung open to reveal, likely for the first time for many of the residents, the 570GT. The crowd was growing ever larger – I think one or two more people came over – and even our Cayenne Hybrid chase vehicle had a few photos taken. From touchdown on, it was our adventure book with any destination we wanted being possible.

McLaren called it the 570GT for a good reason – it’s a real Grand Tourer. It’s not just a badge tacked onto a new edition, it is tuned and groomed into a touring car where you’re treated by the car every single day. The suspension is softened, the exhaust note has a little less bite, and the storage capacity means the car is less of a handcuff when it comes to running errands. It wants you to do everything in it.

But was it prepared for what we wanted to do?

It happily carved through the canyons of the Endless Mountains, but then we got adventurous and decided to go up the mountains. Looking up at the mountains was a great view, meaning the mirroring view downward had to be equally majestic. Our first overlook was at High Knob, the most touristy spot we encountered (rightfully so), but across the valley we were told of a more elusive spot with another view that couldn’t be topped.eagles-mere-0167

We didn’t quite understand how elusive it could be until we got there, and getting there itself felt like half of the whole weekend trip.

We got some maps – you know, like those folding maps that don’t give turn-by-turn directions – from the woman who runs the Worlds Best Snack Shop. (For the record, the name is not wrong.) She did in fact offer those turn-by-turn directions for us to a place named Sharp Top Vista, but we cringed a bit when she said a certain portion – 8.1 miles – was unpaved. We knew what we could accomplish with cautious driving and the lift up, we had done it before, but eight miles was nearly ten times the distance of our last off-road trip, and on that trail we didn’t have to account for other cars.

Fortunately it was clear that this dirt road had been well traveled and it would be no issue for us to embark on it ourselves. A few miles in, though, we encountered our first trouble in the form of a park ranger.

We know what you’re thinking, as it is pretty suspicious to be wandering through the forest in a $215,000 supercar. But he was not coming up to us to kick us out and cancel our adventure, he was simply warning us that the trail gets worse from here.

So, I’m not really sure which result we would have preferred. And frankly, turning around on that tiny one-way-sized path seemed too annoying, so we said thanks and continued on even more cautiously now, past several cars with a chivalrous gesture required to ensure one of the cars didn’t end up in a ditch. Dirt road rules did not account for low-slung supercars all that well.

Our determination eventually rewarded us with the incredible view from atop Sharp Top Vista. The view wasn’t much different than from the other side – colorful trees, a small river carving a canyon through the mountains and an endless sky – but it was no less breathtaking. It was exactly what we came for in the first place.

The pictures and videos show the glamorous moments from the weekend; they were simply the calm, the serene and the normal. But that doesn’t even begin to describe what the 570GT endured. On our way down from Sharp Top, we encountered a group of probably a dozen Jeeps who had no problem climbing up the embankments to let us go by. It was what they were built for, but what we were doing with the 570GT was demanding it to take us on whatever journeys we could think of, without asking it first.

But man, did it come through. The suspension likely saved our driver’s sanity through the tough spots, its (slightly) subdued exhaust note kept the quiet town asleep and the extra room in the GT kept all our necessary gear right by our side.

The 570GT is truly a remarkable car for the journey, even ridiculous ones like ours.