The 2021 McLaren GT Has One Magical Luxury Feature all High-End Cars Should Adopt

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Having a moon roof or sun roof in many cars is highly desirable, especially for drivers who love the feeling of a comfortable but don’t want to own one. It gives our vehicles a sense of spaciousness, but it isn’t always that convenient. With the sporty, sloping rooflines of many McLaren supercars, the roof itself is designed as a piece of glass that gives the cabin a roomy feeling, but it also lets in a lot of light that can’t be blocked out with the closing of a fabric screen door, like on some moon roofs. To resolve this issue, McLaren has used their expertise in technology to develop a feature that is truly magical and will leave any owner showing it off to anyone who gets into the car: an electrochromic glass roof.

How does the McLaren electrochromic glass roof work?

The McLaren GT | Martyn Lucy, Getty Images

The electrochromic glass roof in the McLaren GT allows the driver or passenger to dim or brighten the entire glass roof with the press of a button — and it pretty much looks like a magic trick when it happens. This process is seemingly automatic, taking only a second to go from complete visibility to cool darkness. While it seems like magic, the electrochromic glass is actually a work of technological art, and the science behind it is fascinating. On the surface, it appears that the glass roof works with the simple press of a button located above the rearview mirror, but the science and technology in play are much more complicated.

The science behind the new McLaren glass roof

The McLaren glass roof uses electrochromic glass, which is about as technologically complicated as it sounds. The glass roof is adjusted with an electromagnetic current that essentially turns the tinting on or off, going from a completely clear glass roof to a dark, tinted glass roof that offers plenty of shade and a few variations in between. It is essentially a form of smart glass, and while McLaren may have been one of the first to bring it to the automotive world, the technology itself has been around for quite some time. With this technology, the opacity of the glass itself is being altered by an electric voltage.

Should more cars adopt this glass roof style?

The electrochromic glass roof is more of a luxury than a necessity but an impressive one nonetheless. With many high-end luxury cars, having a feature like this would offer drivers a unique experience as well as giving them the option of showing off a rather neat technological advancement. It isn’t unusual for supercars to introduce new technology and features that will eventually trickle down to consumer vehicles, and while that isn’t always the case, it has held true in many instances, though this often takes time as new technology often become more affordable and reliable over time and as they advance.

This technology is still rather new in the way of widespread applications, making it a good option for a luxury car and supercar manufacturers looking to give their vehicles the latest technology that isn’t widely available or used.

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