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McLaren reveals awesome P1 GTR concept

Winging it: McLaren has dug deeply into its Formula One development to shape the track-honed version of its P1 supercar, known as the P1 GTR.

Monster 736kW track-honed homage to McLaren’s historic Le Mans win takes form


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18 Aug 2014

BRITISH supercar marque McLaren has revealed the evolving form of its mid-engined coupe that throws away the book on road rules to create a 736kW Formula One-inspired monster dubbed “the best driver’s car in the world on track”.

Based on the V8-hybrid-engined, road-going P1 supercar, the P1 GTR was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of McLaren’s GT1 podium success with the F1 GTR, including a class win and third, fourth and fifth places in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

The new track-only reveal coincides with the start of testing for the BMW-engined F1 GTR 20 years ago.

Unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California last weekend, the long, low, aerodynamic P1 GTR coupe – officially still a concept car ahead of a production run slated to start in less than a year – draws deeply on McLaren’s F1 racing experience.

Track-honed features will include slick Pirelli tyres, a fixed ride height, “enhanced power delivery” from the petrol-electric hybrid V8 system, an overtaking function that calls on the extra power of the electric motor at the push of a button, and a drag reduction system that dumps the load on the rear wing on straight, fast sections of track.

“With no need to meet the legislations for road legality, the McLaren P1 GTR will be the most track-tailored and most powerful model produced by McLaren Special Operations to date, with a clear target even more focused than its road-going sibling: to be the best driver’s car in the world on track,” McLaren says.

Side-by-side, there will be other noticeable differences between the track-focused P1 GTR and the road-going P1.

The front track of the near-production concept is 80mm wider than the current road car, and is coupled with a more aggressive GT-style front splitter.

“Reprofiled low-temperature radiator ducts seamlessly flow into the leading edge of the aggressively flared front wheelarches, while the active aerodynamic flaps are retained from the McLaren P1 in the floor ahead of the front wheels,” McLaren says.

“The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the carbon-fibre MonoCage chassis behind the front wheels, and is designed to channel the air from around the wheel well.

“An additional aerodynamic blade is located behind the wheelarch to clean the air from the front tyres.

“This aero device flows seamlessly along the bottom edge of the dihedral doors, along the flank of the carbon-fibre bodywork, to an additional side panel at the rear which ducts additional air into the high-temperature radiator and improves the aerodynamic performance of the rear floor.”

A snorkel air intake, inspired by the design of the original McLaren F1, is built into the roof structure.

The wing mirrors, meanwhile, move to the A-pillars to put them closer to the eye line of the driver and reduce drag, while more air draws in to the mid-mounted engine via larger trailing edges of the door-mounted radiator channels.

The concept sits on lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels that are 10.5 inches wide at the front and 13 inches at the rear, with fast tyre changes available via a quick-release centre locking nut and in-built air jack system.

McLaren has also redesigned the exhaust of the track car, made from alloys including Inconel – a special high-temperature metal – and titanium, to maximise the “aural characteristic” of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine via a straight-cut twin-pipe set-up that is now used in place of the road-going car’s single exit exhaust.

The P1 GTR uses the black, orange and silver colour scheme of the Le Mans-winning cars.

Those lucky enough to buy a P1 GTR will also have access to McLaren’s driver program that will include specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator.

McLaren Special Operations will “maintain and run all cars, and manage the program throughout”.

“Together with one of the most exciting track-focused cars ever developed, the program offers unprecedented access to the technologies, resources and people throughout the McLaren Technology Centre,” the company said.

Buyers are expected to gain membership to the club after handing over the equivalent of about $2 million for their P1 GTR.

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