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McLaren P1 GTR Design Concept unveiled at Pebble Beach

By Bob Nagy on August 18, 2014 1:07 PM
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The world got its first look at the much anticipated McLaren P1 GTR Design Concept at a private showing held during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Calling it a technical prototype and admitting that final development tweaks will be incorporated where necessary before the first customer car is produced next May, the British automaker also confirmed the most track-tailored and powerful vehicle created to date by McLaren Special Operations will be "the best driver's car in the world" on a racing circuit. The new P1 GTR will hit the track exactly 20 years after the stunning McLaren F1 GTR made its debut in 1995 to begin a successful racing legacy that included an overall win that year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

Styled for speed and aero grip

As the P1 GTR teaser image released last month indicated, this new McLaren supercar goes beyond the already pretty awesome standard P1 model. While retaining all of that car's core elements - including its carbon fiber MonoCage structure, the GTR has been comprehensively re-engineered to meet its new target goals. The recasting starts with more aerodynamic bodywork set off by new intake and duct shapes/sizes that collectively better manage airflow over, under and through the various cooling systems at speed. Balancing the GTR's 3.15-inch wider front track and deeper GT-style front splitter is a larger and fixed twin-element rear wing that features an F1-derived articulated Drag Reduction System. It works in concert with existing auto-adjusting front flaps and a massive new rear diffuser to maintain dynamic balance while improving downforce. 

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Using bespoke settings for its suspension, the new GTR also sits lower to the ground than a standard McLaren P1 and has a fixed ride height. Unlike the street car, it's fitted with Pirelli P Zero racing slicks mounted on 19-inch staggered-width lightweight wheels that feature competition-style quick-release center locks. Like the McLaren 650S GT3 racer, the P1 GTR also has an on-board air jacking system.

A more potent powertrain

Although McLaren provided no specific details, the firm said output of the bespoke 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and electric motor combo that drives the rear wheels of this track-spec P1 variant has been upped from the standard 903 horsepower to a heady 986 ponies. A revamped exhaust system adds even more aural excitement to the mix and now ends in dual straight-cut outlets instead of the P1's single-port design. Like a number of other competition cars, the P1 GTR will equipped with a "push-to-pass" system that gives the driver an additional short-term boost of power.   

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McLaren indicated earlier that production of the new GTR will commence next spring when the current run of road-going P1s has been completed. Only 375 P1 GTRs will be built, and each will be offered only to current McLaren owners. For a price of entry expected to be in excess of $3 million, owners will get the car and what McLaren promises to be an individualized support program that includes an organized racing series contested on a number of F1 circuits and "unprecedented access to the technologies, resources and expertise which have helped develop and train Formula 1 champions." 

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