McLaren’s track-focused model promised for Goodwood was not the P1 GTR but the 650S GT3 racecar, the successor to the 12C GT3. As the name suggests, the racer is eligible to compete in GT3 championships across the globe from the 2015 season.
Developed by McLaren GT, the racecar building arm of McLaren, the 650S GT3 is based on the road-going 650S and made around the same lightweight carbon fiber MonoCell chassis. The car has been honed using CFD technology and the latest in automotive and motorsport simulation to offer enhanced aerodynamics and improved levels of cooling.
The front end features an aggressive splitter and larger air intakes, while on the flanks, the all-new lightweight carbon fiber bodywork wraps around reprofiled air intakes, which offer further optimized cooling. The fixed carbon fiber rear wing works in combination with the large carbon fiber splitter to complete the management of air that goes across, through and beneath the sleek lines of the 650S GT3.
Compared to the production car, the 650S GT3 features a revised suspension geometry, wider track and updates to the overall setup. Power is supplied by a race-prepared 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 M838T engine mated to an all-new six-speed sequential motorsport transmission. The 650S GT3 produces around 500PS (493hp), the same power as the 12C GT3. Cooling is improved through larger 650S intakes within the front bumper and re-profiled side intakes.
The 650S GT3 uses an all-new race-tuned suspension system with a 52mm (2in) wider track than the 12C GT3, with the front suspension also allowing the fitment of the latest generation larger diameter racing tyres.
The big news for 12C GT3 owners is that McLaren will offer an upgrade kit which will allow them to turn their cars into a 650S GT3. Prices for the new car start at £330,000 ($561,907) ex works, plus tax.
By Dan Mihalascu