McLaren has announced a new high performance variant of the 12C sports car, named the 12C GT Sprint, which is homologated for use on the track only.
The 12C GT Sprint sits between the road-going model and the racing 12C GT3 and 12C GT Can-Am Edition models. Designed and developed by McLaren GT, the racecar building division of the McLaren Group, the 12C GT Sprint is based on the 12 C road car.
McLaren says the 12C GT Sprint has been developed to deliver a more track-focused racing experience while retaining the balance and precise handling of the road car. It is built around the lightweight carbon fiber MonoCell chassis and features developments to systems such as ProActive Chassis Control (PCC), Brake Steer and the McLaren Airbrake.
The engine is the same 3.8-liter twin turbo from the standard model developing 625 PS (616 hp), mated to the same seven-speed twin clutch gearbox. However, the unit has unique oil and a cooling systems with a central front radiator borrowed from the 12C GT3.
Since the 12C GT Sprint has a 40mm lower ride height and is shod with racing slick tyres, the PCC suspension has been tuned and calibrated in order to provide a firmer and more circuit-orientated setup. The car has three handling modes that allow the driver to select the preferred damping, roll stiffness and ESP settings.
Aesthetically, the 12C GT Sprint gains an optimized aerodynamic package featuring a more aggressive front bumper, GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts and front wing louvers. Bespoke options include carbon fiber rear wing and front splitter, plus lightweight components such as a polycarbonate windshield.
On the inside, the 12C GT Spring is fitted with an FIA-approved rollcage and integrated fire extinguisher system, a fully adjustable HANS-approved racing seat with six-point harness. The only compromise to comfort is the simpler but also lighter, air-conditioning system.
Finished in heritage McLaren Orange as standard, the 12C GT Spring will debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. McLaren will deliver 20 cars this year, each priced from just under £200,000 (€232,250).
By Dan Mihalascu