• Interior includes F1-inspired wheel
WHAT A BEAUT: McLaren has unveiled images of its P1 GTR and a video of its bespoke drive programme. Image: McLaren
• Testing in Bahrain super-heat
• McLaren P1 GTR driver programme
LONDON, England - The car will offer an on- and off-track driving experience like no other, with unique access to the technologies and expertise within the McLaren Technology Centre, and the most powerful track-only model yet produced by McLaren Automotive.
GALLERY: McLaren P1 GTR - inside and out
Dynamic testing is well under way at a variety of international race circuits and the first uncamouflaged images show the latest aerodynamic and cooling updates being tested. The cockpit is shown to be even more purposeful than the road-going model and has been designed with driver engagement and weight-saving key priorities, but no compromise in terms of comfort and safety.
The automaker says an individually tailored McLaren P1 GTR driver programme will offer each candidate a unique insight into the world of McLaren. Details of the programme, which has previously been experienced by race winners and world champions, are explained in an official McLaren Automotive YouTube video.
The first images of the interior show the car is stripped of all but the essential items in a bid to keep weight to a minimum.
VIDEO: McLaren driver programme details
The light carbon-fibre MonoCage chassis is carried over from the road car and weighs only 90kg, including the upper and lower structures (including roof), roof snorkel, engine air-intake cavity, battery and power electronics housing.
The centrepiece of the driver’s environment is the new steering wheel, designed to make all controls as easily accessible and user-friendly as possible. As with various elements throughout the car, says McLaren, there is significant heritage linked to the steering wheel. Although unique to the P1 GTR, the design is based on that of the 2008 Formula 1 championship-winning MP4-23.
As on a F1 car, key controls including the mode switches are at the centre of the steering-wheel. This allows the driver to fully adjust the set-up and characteristics of the car without having to take hands off the wheel.
The cabin is equipped with light DTM-style seats and six-point motorsport harnesses. This will be specifically set up for the individual driver and mounted directly to the chassis, reducing weight by having no additional mounting brackets. The Hans-approved carbon-fibre seat shell offers comfort and support and has been ergonomically designed along with the rest of the cabin controls.
Despite the stripped environment, the aircan is retained to maintain comfort during the more physical driving experience.
The dedicated test team of engineers, technicians and development drivers continues to progress the programme and has completed a successful test in the extreme desert heat at the Bahrain International Circuit. The rigorous testing schedule was carried out with the latest development prototype, and is seen dynamically for the first time, finished in a combination of carbon-black paint and bare carbon- fibre bodywork.
All tests were completed with results meeting or, in many cases exceeding, the stringent targets set. The P1 GTR development continues its rapid progress, with further mileage scheduled over the northern winter throughout Europe.