The ultimate tourer test? 24 hours in a McLaren GT

I turn in at 10pm and actually find it surprisingly easy to fall asleep. Then I wake up. Dare I look at my watch to see how long there is left? It’s 2am. Weirdly, it’s not actually that cold in the GT. To be fair, I’ve come expecting the worst. There’s a sleeping bag pulled tight over my shoulders, a woollen blanket over the top and a hoodie to keep in heat. With all that, it’s surprisingly cozy, although very fuged up. God knows what the CO2-to-oxygen ratio is.

Another human being! Max brings me breakfast at 7am but he wisely avoids breathing in as I crack open the GT’s door. After a nutritious breakfast of bacon sandwich and Coco Pops (no spilt milk, thankfully), we head out to Marine Drive, a spectacular series of switchbacks up on the coast. But our real destination is to come: the old A5 between Bethesda and Capel Curig.

This is Wales as you imagine it: committed sheep chewing on damp grass, roads with enough moisture on top to keep anyone honest and the odd cyclist or walker doing exercisey things, for once making me jealous with their stretched-out legs and upright posture. As we exit Bethesda, I can finally open the GT up a bit.

There’s not a vast amount of traffic around, so it’s okay to slow down and then accelerate as the road sinews through valleys. With all the GT’s settings set to maximum (handling and transmission), suddenly the sports car element comes to the fore, with a more aggressive exhaust note and whip-crack gearchanges.

Hard on the brakes as we approach a right-hander, a lovely parp from the exhaust as each lower gear kicks in. The engine’s note doesn’t have as many changes in tone as some, but the purity of the delivery appeals.

The turn-in is what really stands out, with the sort of bite at the front that you just don’t get from a classic GT. It allows for an enjoyable series of long sweepers that line Lake Ogwen, knowing that the car is constantly updating me with feedback, even if I’m starting to feel the discomfort from 23 hours inside. We’re heading towards a lookout for Snowdon, where an exit stage right beckons.

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