The McLaren GT has just made its official debut here in Malaysia, an event which coincides with the grand opening of McLaren Kuala Lumpur’s new 3S centre in Glenmarie. The 420 sq metre outlet is the brand’s sole retail presence here in Malaysia, offering sales, aftersales, accessories, and servicing of all McLaren cars.

Okay, back to the star of the show. The GT, which in effect is the automaker’s first debutant under the Grand Tourer range of cars (separate from the Sports, Super and Ultimate series cars), is built from scratch to offer greater practicality, and it’s underpinned by the automaker’s lightweight carbon-fibre MonoCell II-T (for Touring) monocoque.

It’s still a mid-engined car, and power comes from McLaren’s stalwart M840TE 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 that’s tuned to deliver 620 PS at 7,500 rpm and 630 Nm of torque from 5,500 to 6,500 rpm. The automaker says more than 95% of that torque available from 3,000 rpm to 7,250 rpm.

A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (Seamless Shift Gearbox) propels the 1,530-kg GT from 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 9.0 seconds, and will go on to a top speed of 326 km/h. It boasts an incredible power-to-weight ratio of 405 PS per tonne, with McLaren claiming that the GT is 130 kg lighter than some of its closest competitors.

Handling duties are managed by double wishbone suspension and adaptive dampers with Proactive Damping Control. The latter system uses sensors to scan the road, which predict oncoming surfaces and primes the suspension in just two milliseconds. Ride comfort is the name of the game here, so the suspension is optimised for vertical load and tyre contact patch, although the parameters vary between the three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Track.

At nearly 4.7 metres long, the GT is one of the lengthiest models in the McLaren stable. Its proportions make the overall design appear less aggressive than its stablemates, yet it retains one of the brand’s hallmark designs such as the dihedral doors.

Notable exterior styling elements include the slim half moon-shaped headlights, a scalloped rear section under the rear spoiler, and slim LED tail lights to go with the rear diffuser and tailpipes. This launch unit sits on 15-spoke cast alloy wheels – the front items are 20 inches in size, wrapped with unusually narrow 225/35 Pirelli P Zero tyres, while the 21-inch wheels at the back are shod with suitably wide 295/30 rubbers.

Inside, the cabin will be familiar to 570S owners, but it’s not completely lifted wholesale. Nappa leather upholstery is standard, with soft-grain luxury leather and Alcantara available as options. Cashmere fabric will also be available soon. These luxury material also extend to the boot. Speaking of which, the rear hatch offers 420 litres of space, while the front bonnet offers an additional 150 litres of storage area.

For the cockpit, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, whereas machined and knurled aluminium switches and controls replace the typical carbon trim found on most McLarens. The steering-mounted paddle shifters are standard issue, as is the seven-inch portrait-oriented infotainment system, which apparently is one of the fastest head units in any car.

Standard interior features include dual zone climate control, a McLaren four-speaker sound system, as well as manual adjustable seats, but all these can be upgraded individually via McLaren Special Operations to suit your taste. Also available is the range-topping 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system with carbon-fibre subwoofers and Kevlar mid-range drive units.

Now, for pricing. The McLaren GT carries a base price of RM908k before applicable taxes and options. It is currently on display at the brand’s 3S facility in Glenmarie, alongside the rest of the McLaren range of cars.

GALLERY: McLaren Kuala Lumpur 3S Centre in Glenmarie