McLaren P1 GTR: On track for greatness
Taking its place beside the firm's new 675LT on the stand in Geneva, the stunning McLaren P1 GTR made its debut with only a few focused changes to distinguish it from the Design Concept presented last summer at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Presented in the same striking yellow and green livery seen on the Harrods-backed F1 GTR that finished third at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, the track-only P1 GTR cranks up the absolute performance capabilities of the road-going P1 to outrageous levels thanks to its lower weight, greater power, revised suspension and improved aerodynamics.
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In creating what it deems has no peer, McLaren Special Operations revisited every functional aspect of the standard P1 supercar in order to extract more performance. The most visible changes can be seen in a deeper front splitter, a wind-channeling lower blade that runs along the P1 GTR's sill area, a revised aft diffuser and a significantly larger rear wing. While fixed, it sits nearly five inches higher off the deck and retains the same F1-style Drag Reduction System with pitch-adjustment found on the P1. Working with articulated flaps ahead of the front wheels, it can increase total downforce by up to 10 percent at 150 mph. New twin exhaust outlets are made from an Iconel/titanium alloy that's nearly 15 pounds lighter than those on the base P1. Closer inspection reveals the glass side and rear windows in the GTR are lighter Polycarbonate and the P1's toughened-glass roof panels are replaced by carbon fiber -- changes that contribute to a total weight reduction of more than 110 pounds. The P1 GTR's more aggressively tuned suspension brings a wider front track and drops the ride height by nearly two inches. Rolling stock changes to 19-inch center-locking alloys wrapped in Pirelli racing slicks.
As first seen in the Design Concept, the potent gas/electric hybrid powertrain in the P1 GTR has been thoroughly revamped, adding more robust race-ready components that raise output and add reliability while stripping away street-oriented bits. The remix sees output of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 rise from 727 to 789 horsepower while a more efficient electric motor cranks out 197 horses, up from 176 in the P1. Collectively, the pair puts out 986 ponies - 83 more than the baseline stat - and should endow the GTR with stunning acceleration.
McLaren will build only 375 copies of the P1 GTR and all will of these $3 million-plus dream machines will be offered only to current P1 owners. Those fortunate enough to afford one also will be able to participate in a McLaren P1 Driver Program that includes a session at the McLaren Technology Center for a seat fitting, vehicle trim discussion and a driver assessment at the firm's Human Performance Center. From there, it will be off to a test at the Silverstone circuit in England then on to the first of six track-day events that will begin on the F1 Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.