McLaren has revealed a limited-run track car inspired by the brand’s Vision Gran Turismo concept car first shown in Gran Turismo Sport.
Restricted to just 25 cars, all of which have naturally been spoken for already, the McLaren Solus GT looks very much like the 2017 Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo. However there’s a few more down-to-earth tweaks to make it a more comfortable vehicle to drive.
That starts with the seating position, which is a regular seat — albeit one specifically molded to the owner — rather than the prone position of the concept car. It’s still just a single-seat design though, and you get into the car through a forward-sliding canopy, rather like the Batmobile from Batman and Batman Returns.
There you’re greeted by an F1-style wheel with an integrated instrument cluster — not dissimilar from the virtual vehicle — while a wraparound windscreen gives a 180-degree view from the seat. In addition there’s a video rear-view display screen, which picks up images from a camera in the roll hoop.
Rather than drawing from McLaren’s line of carbon composite tubs, produced near Sheffield in the UK, the Solus has a custom carbon monocoque which uses the engine and race-derived seven-speed gearbox as stressed members.
It’s quite an engine too, with McLaren ditching its traditional V8 (and more recent hybrid V6) in favor of a 5.2-liter V10. There’s no electric assistance, unlike the VGT, so this naturally aspirated unit sends all 828hp to the rear wheels.
That’s a few steps down from some of McLaren’s more powerful units, but the V10 has been selected for its use as a structural component. In addition, it’s not exactly pushing a lot of weight around, as the Solus GT comes in at under a metric tonne (2,205lb).
All that helps the McLaren hit 60mph in under 2.5 seconds and run on to over 200mph — although it’s been track tested right now ahead of final performance figures.
However the McLaren’s goal isn’t straight line performance. It’s not road legal in any case, and its purpose is a pure track car.
To that end it sports a huge front splitter feeding air into ground effect tunnels beneath the car and out of a frankly enormous rear diffuser. There’s also a large, fixed rear wing with two elements — sadly no drag reduction system as in the Vision GT car.
That all produces more than the car’s own weight in downforce, although McLaren doesn’t give a speed for that 1.2 tonne (2,645lb) downforce figure.
Drag is minimized by the enclosed from wheel pods — housing 18-inch aluminum centerlock wheels, with LMP1-grade tires — which feature carbon-fiber clad steel suspension links. The suspension uses inboard torsion bars, with a pushrod system at the front and pullrods on the rear.
All 25 of the cars have already been sold, despite only just being revealed at Monterey Car Week. No base price was announced, although we’d not expect much change from $3m at best.
Along with the car, McLaren will provide a “full racing driver experience”, with the seat molded to the individual, an FIA-grade race suit and helmet, a HANS device, and driver coaching. McLaren also plans Solus GT track days, and all cars are delivered with a flight case containing jacks, stands, radios, a “comprehensive set of tools” and a coolant pre-heater.
Naturally McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) division will also be involved in the process, allowing the owners to customize pretty much any part of the Solus GT, including the color schemes; we’ll be very disappointed not to see at least one purple example. Future owners will also get to drive prototypes of the car as part of the process.
The first vehicles will be delivered in 2023. For the rest of us who’ll never get to experience it, McLaren has released a teaser video: