2016 McLaren 570S GT4
McLaren’s most affordable race carby Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 08:50
In 2015, McLaren debuted the new Sports Series, a family of sports cars slotted below the Super Series and aimed at the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo. Having already launched three models, the 570S, 540C, and 570GT, the Brits are now pushing the Sports Series into motorsport territory with a track-only version called the 570S GT4.
As the name suggests, the race-bred coupe was developed to GT4 specifications, which makes it eligible for an array of European racing championships, including the GT4 European series. Created in conjunction with McLaren GT, the brand’s motorsports division, and GT racing specialists CRS GT Limited, the 570S GT4 will be raced in the 2016 season of the British GT championship. One example will be run by Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse before the car is homologated for GT4-spec championships globally and sold to customers for the 2017 season.
"The launch of the Sports Series has broadened McLaren to a new audience, introducing technologies to the sports car market and to a new group of customers. The 570S GT4 is doing the same in the motorsport world, and will bring the opportunity to own and race a McLaren -– previously limited to a very small number of people –- to a much wider group," said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.
Along with the new race car, McLaren also announced that it has appointed Ansar Ali as Motorsport Director. Former CEO of Caterham Cars and current chief of Zeos Cars, Ali will be responsible for on-going strategy and management of McLaren’s motorsport activities.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 570S GT4.
Much like the 650S GT3 race car, the 570S GT4 is a more aggressive and aerodynamic interpretation of the standard model. Although recognizable as a Sports Series model, the GT4 has many unique features to brag about. Up front, the race-spec model stands out by means of a vented hood and a redesigned bumper. While the road-going car has a three-piece splitter, the GT4 sports a one-piece unit. Other aero add-ons include small, curved winglets on each side of the bumper, a larger intake under the nose, a tow hook, and quick-release pins for the hood.
The racing package is rounded off by a black-and-orange livery that pays tribute to McLaren's successful motorsport past.
Onto the sides, the GT4 is as stock as they get, save for the mildly revised skirts and lightweight, race-spec wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires. Around back, the most notable difference is the massive wing on the decklid, with everything else, including the diffuser, apparently identical to the standard model.
The racing package is rounded off by a black-and-orange livery that pays tribute to McLaren’s successful motorsport past. The show car sports number 59 as a nod to the Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR, as well as orange accents on bare carbon-fiber components such as the front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser.
|Length||4,606 MM (181.33 Inches)|
|Width||2,095 MM (82.48 Inches)|
|Height||1,179 MM (46.41 Inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,674 MM (105.27 Inches)|
|Track, f/r||1,644 MM/1,593 MM (64.72/62.71 Inches)|
There are no photos or specific details of the interior as of this writing, but it should be loosely based on the road-going model and retain the main features, including the dashboard and the center console. McLaren did mention that the 570S GT4 shares the same carbon-fiber MonoCell II chassis architecture as the other models in the Sport Series, and it features an FIA-approved rollcage and fire extinguisher system. The race car should also feature lightweight door panels, race-spec bucket seats with six-point harnesses, a revised center stack, and a bespoke instrument cluster.
Not surprisingly, motivation comes from the same twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 engine that powers all the other McLaren supercars. McLaren didn’t reveal output information, but due to the FIA’s regulations for the series and the car’s reduced curb weight, the GT4 is likely less powerful than the standard 570S, rated at 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of twist.
The race-spec suspension system has two-way adjustable dampers with coilover springs front and rear, and an on-board air jacking system as standard.
Power is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, which is similar to the one offered in the street-legal models.
McLaren was rather brief with the details, but did mention that the drivetrain also includes a high-temperature radiator with enhanced exit ducts and a revised cooling system.
The race-spec suspension system has two-way adjustable dampers with coilover springs front and rear, and an on-board air jacking system as standard. The cast magnesium alloy wheels are shod with slick Pirelli tires, while the braking system has been updated for improved performance at the track.
Pricing for the 570S GT4 starts from £159,900 (about $226,300), a sticker that makes it the most expensive Sports Series vehicle yet. For reference, the road-going 570S fetches £143,250 (around $202,730) before options. On the other hand, the 570S GT4 is significantly more affordable than the 650S GT3, which sold for £330,000 (about $467,020) before taxes. Although all race-spec McLarens developed so far were built in very limited numbers, the Brits didn’t say how many GT4 models will be delivered.
In the British GT Championship, the 570S will face competition from the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, a brand-new race car that made its debut in 2016. Heavily based on the road-going Cayman GT4, the Clubsport is Porsche’s first-ever factory-built race car below the 911. Although its exterior and engine are almost identical to the road car, the Clubsport comes with a race-spec cockpit and a bespoke dual-clutch transmission, as well as a suspension system borrowed from the popular and successful 911 GT3 Cup.
Read more about the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport here.
A popular choice among gentleman racers, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 is the oldest vehicle of the pack. However, it’s built to the same FIA GT regulations, and it’s proven quite reliable on most race tracks in Europe and the U.S. Also eligible for the Pirelli World Challenge, the British coupe uses a 4.7-liter V-8 engine modified for racing. Aerodynamic upgrades include an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, a new front splitter, and carbon-fiber canards fitted to the front bumper.
Find out more about the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 here.
Just as the 570S enabled McLaren access to a broader audience thanks to its more affordable price tag and less aggressive specifications, the 570S GT4 will allow privateers that couldn’t afford the 650S GT3 to drive a full-fledged McLaren race car on the world’s most spectacular tracks. And that’s exactly what makes the GT4 a cool car and McLaren an automaker that cares not only about profits, but providing enthusiasts with potent yet affordable race cars as well. Not to mention, the 570S marks the first time the carbon-fiber MonoCell II architecture has been made available in the GT4 category, which makes it one of the most innovative vehicles in the series. The British firm is definitely on a hot streak and it will be interesting to see how the 570S GT4 performs on its maiden and experimental British GT Championship.