READY TO BE UNLEASHED: McLaren unveils its monstrous P1 GTR. Pcitured here is an image of the design concept model. Image: McLaren
It’s taken twenty years but the covers have finally been pulled off the McLaren P1 GTR design concept during a private event at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in California, USA.
Two decades ago, the then soon-to-be-launched McLaren F1 GTR began testing ahead of an assault on the 1995 GT season, according to the automaker.
The track derivative, as the road-going version had done, rewrote the rule book and claimed victories and titles in the years that followed, securing a place in motorsport folklore.
IMAGE GALLERY: McLaren P1 GTR
Now, McLaren says, the aggressive racing concept is a preview to the final model which, with a little under a year until production commences, has now entered the next phase as the development team works to hone and further optimise its "ultimate track-focused racer".
It will be powered by an upgraded versions of McLaren's 3.8-litre biturbo V8 capable of 735kW.
The company said: “It 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.
“With even greater emphasis on aerodynamic performance through the dramatic bodywork, the car will also feature race-proven slick tyres, a fixed ride height, enhanced power delivery from the power train and Formula 1-derived DRS from the large, fixed rear wing and an ERS-style push-to-pass system, all combining to offer the ultimate track experience.”
The front track of the P1 GTR, says McLaren, has been increased by 80mm and is coupled with a more assertive GT-style front splitter. New low-temperature radiator ducts flow into the flared front wheelarches, while the active aerodynamic flaps are retained from the P1 in the floor ahead of the front wheels.
The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the carbon-fibred 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.
A set of lightweight 19” motorsport alloy wheels are fitted – 10.5” wide at the front, 13” inches at the rear – and are secured into place with quick-release centre locking nuts. Tyre changes are made easier through an air-jacking system, similar to that seen on the McLaren 650S GT3 racer.
Below the rear wing sits the centrally mounted exhaust, made from "inconel and titanium alloy". The system maximises the aural characteristic of the higher output 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 to maintain, and further emphasise, the McLaren sound.
The design concept unveiled at Pebble Beach wears a livery which harks back to the original McLaren to wear the GTR badge. During the rigorous testing programme for the F1 GTR, the test car, chassis #01R, originally wore a distinctive orange and silver livery. This colour scheme has been reinterpreted for the model, with the number, 01, signifying the original chassis number.
That car eventually went on to take the coveted win at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.
To coincide with the launch of the P1 GTR design concept is the McLaren P1 GTR driver programme. According to the automaker: "The ultra-exclusive ownership programme which will include specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator, and which is designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically to fully exploit the abilities of the McLaren P1 GTR."