McLaren’s most affordable race car

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.

Exterior

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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.

Exterior Dimensions

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)

Interior

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.

Drivetrain

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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.

Prices

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.

Competition

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
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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.

Aston Martin Vantage GT4

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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.

Conclusion

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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.

  • Leave it
    • * Won’t be offered to customers until 2017
    • * Official specs still under wraps

Press Release

McLaren Automotive has announced two new track-dedicated models of the recently-launched Sports Series: the 570S GT4 and the 570S Sprint. Developed in conjunction with McLaren GT – the motorsport division of McLaren Automotive – and GT racing specialists, CRS GT Limited, the 570S GT4 will now enter an intensive season-long development programme in the British GT championship.

2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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McLaren GT and CRS GT Limited will work with recently confirmed customer team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse, with the 570S GT4 competing in the full nine round calendar, including the famous Spa-Francorchamps. The programme will be a rigorous testing schedule in live race environments. The 570S Sprint, which will be revealed in the coming weeks, will be dedicated for private trackdays and is therefore unrestricted by racing regulations. However, 570S Sprint owners will be able to upgrade to GT4 specification.

McLaren Automotive has also confirmed the appointment of Ansar Ali to the role of Motorsport Director. The newly-created role highlights a new focus on motorsport by McLaren Automotive where Ali will be responsible for on-going strategy and management of motorsport activities.

Commenting on the latest additions to the Sports Series, Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive explained: ‘As with road-going models wearing a McLaren badge, the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are about being an engaging and exciting drive. 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.

2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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He added: ’I am extremely pleased to welcome Ansar to McLaren Automotive in such a key role. Motorsport is part of the lifeblood of McLaren, and this role will be key to our long-term plans.’

Ansar Ali, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive added: ‘I am extremely proud and honoured to be joining McLaren Automotive at such a pivotal time. Activities on track have played such a significant part in the history of making McLaren globally recognised. The opportunity to play a major part in shaping its future motorsport strategy is extremely exciting, and the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are an important initial step.’

Commenting on the programme, Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, CRS GT Limited added: ‘The 570S GT4 marks a key development of McLaren as a player in the motorsport world, opening the opportunity to race to a much broader skill level of driver. The 650S GT3, which raced very successfully for the first time last year, is focused on drivability and made its performance envelope easier to access and exploit. Its race results speak for themselves. The 570S GT4 model will take this to the next level providing drivers with the confidence and feedback to push and exploit the boundaries of what the car can do.’

THE McLAREN 570S GT4

The track-only 570S GT4 shares the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis architecture with the other models in the Sports Series. This marks the first time the technology has been made available in the GT4 category, and the race-derived material is of clear benefit with inherent strength and light weight. Driver protection is further enhanced with the addition of an FIA-approved rollcage and fire extinguisher system. Carbon fibre and aluminium are used for the reprofiled bodywork, which is formed over wider track both front and rear to accommodate centre-locking lightweight cast magnesium alloy wheels shod with slick Pirelli racing tyres. Two-way adjustable motorsport dampers with coil-over springs are fitted front and rear, and an on-board air jacking system is fitted as standard.

2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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With a pure focus on laptimes, the 570S GT4 features a unique aerodynamic package which includes a GT4-specification high level rear wing, mounted on aluminium pylons, a larger front splitter and reprofiled floor assembly. An additional front centre high temperature radiator sits below a GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts. These upgrades have been designed to optimise the aerodynamic performance and cooling of the 570S GT4 to ensure it is able to perform in the harshest race conditions globally.

The McLaren designed and developed 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 M838TE engine is carried over from the road-going Sports Series model. The seven-speed seamless shift gearbox is also familiar to the other models in the range, transferring power to the track via the rear wheels.

Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse will run one example of the 570S GT4 alongside the confirmed entry of the 650S GT3 with Factory Driver Rob Bell alongside Alaisdair McCaig. Driver details for the season will be announced shortly.

The 570S GT4 will make its public development debut at the opening round of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, UK over the weekend 16-17 April. Going forward, it will be eligible for all GT4 homologated championships globally from the 2017 season, and is priced from £159,900 (ex works).

2016 McLaren 570S GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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Further details for the 570S Sprint, including pricing, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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