McLaren’s 620R is a $325,000, Road-Legal GT4 Race Car

Automotive News 48 December 9, 2019 by

The phrase “it’s like a race car for the road” is a little overused these days, but in the case of McLaren’s new 620R it’s about as close to the truth as you can get.

McLaren has based the new car on its successful 570S GT4 racer. In essence, GT4 race cars are road cars modified for the race track, so with the 620R McLaren has more-or-less left the modifications in place and simply homologated it for road use.

There’s a striking amount of similarity between the 570S and 620R, as well you’d expect. The two cars share the same chassis, a single-piece, carbon-fiber structure known as ‘Monocell II’ — in the 570S only the roof is aluminum. For the most part, the bodywork is identical too. You’ll even find the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 under the engine cover.

However there’s one or two little differences. For a start, as you’ll guess from the name, power is up by 50hp by comparison to the 570S. That’s thanks to engine upgrades intended for race use and then freed from the balance of performance restrictions of those series. Physically it’s little different, but changes to the engine control unit and turbo management systems boost the 620R up to 610hp (that’s 620PS, hence the name). That drops the performance to 2.7s for the 0-60mph sprint, and lift the top speed to a round 200mph.

Another obvious change is the aero package. The 620R retains the GT4’s rear wing in its entirety, although it’s nearly a foot higher on the road car. Amazingly, this becomes road legal merely through adding a high level brake light to the wing. It’s adjustable to three positions, and works with redesigned front aero — the car surprisingly keeps its canards — to generate up to 408lb of downforce.

There’s further changes underneath. The 620R features stiffer powertrain mounts, two-way adjustable coilovers, and lightweight aluminum wishbones and uprights. You can manually adjust the dampers with 32 settings on each corner, and there’s also stiffer anti-roll bars and solid stainless steel topmounts.

For the 620R McLaren’s seven-speed gearbox includes ‘Inertia Push’ technology. This is a flywheel storage system that briefly increases torque when changing up through the gears — in Sport mode, this also makes a crack sound, for the big kids among us.

Unsurprisingly, the 620R gets standard carbon ceramic brake discs, with forged aluminum brake calipers. There’s also standard Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks, with full slicks an option if you want to head to the race track.

One downside of the race-car-for-the-road is the interior. The McLaren 570S has a pretty plush cabin, but the 620R is stripped almost bare. You’ll find lightweight carbon-fiber seats for driver and passenger, with a six-point harness for each — and road seat belts for a slightly more bearable daily drive.

Toys are at a bare minimum. There’s no audio system, no navigation system, and no aircon as standard, although they are all available at no extra cost — along with a cost-option upgraded Bowers & Wilkins audio system. You do get a McLaren Track Telemetry system on a center-mount seven-inch touchscreen though.

The 620R does get one additional interior bauble, in the shape of a numbered plaque. Of course you can also work with the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) team to customize the car to your tastes, including an upgrade from the standard exterior colors — orange, white, and black — to the Senna GTR-inspired livery you see here.

Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer at McLaren Automotive commented:

“The McLaren 570S GT4 is a first-class GT race car that, having won races in every championship it has competed in since its first appearance in 2017, is attracting an increasing number of customer racing teams.

“Now, in response to repeated customer requests, we have homologated that class-leading package for the road in the new McLaren 620R, a limited-edition, 620PS superlight coupe that is the perfect choice for an enthusiast wanting an authentic motorsport driving sensation – and performance to match – on both track and road.”

McLaren will build just 350 examples of the 620R, and they’re available to order now for £250,000 ($328,000). That price includes a Pure McLaren track day, with expert tuition for your purchase. The build slots start in January 2020, with first deliveries expected the following month.

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