2019 McLaren 720S GT3
Launched in 2014, the McLaren Super Series included a batch of spectacular sports cars. Alongside the base 650S model, the British firm also launched the higher performance 675LT and the race-spec 650S GT3. Light, fast, and packed with the latest technology, the Super Series became McLaren’s most successful car. However, the British carmaker decided to replace it after only three years on the market. Its successor is called the 720S and boasts improvements in just about any department. It’s been six months since the 720S was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and McLaren announced that a race-spec GT3 version is also underway.
The new 720S GT3 will replace the 650S GT3, a vehicle that scored titles in all major motorsport series, including the Asian Le Mans Series, Australian GT championship, the Bathurst 12 Hour, Blancpain Endurance Cup and Pirelli World Challenge. But it won’t happen right away. Much like the 570S GT4, the 720S GT3 will have a trial season in 2018 and will completely replace the 650S in 2019, when it will be launched for customer teams.
In addition to the new race car, McLaren also announced plans to introduce a new racing program and a one-make GT series for customers. It’s also planning to appoint a network of motorsport retailers which will sell road and track products alongside each other. But more about all of this below.
In 1992, McLaren took the supercar market by surprise with a vehicle that was unlike any other produced until then: the F1. Not only lighter and more powerful than anything else in dealerships at the time, the F1 was also the first production car to feature a carbon-fiber monocoque and a center-mounted driver’s seat, among many other unique features and innovations. What’s more, it became the world’s fastest production car at 240.1 mph, smashing the previous record by a whopping 27.8 mph.
What the world didn’t know then was that the F1 would also spawn a successful race car.
Although McLaren had used many racing technologies and designs for the F1, Gordon Murray’s goal was to build "the ultimate road car." McLaren had no intention to take it racing, but many customers and racing teams started seeing the potential in the F1 as soon as the first cars had hit the roads. Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher were among those who turned to Gordon Murray and Ron Dennis in an attempt to convince them to build racing versions for the BPR Global GT Series.
McLaren agreed to build F1s for the track if Bellm would bring him at least three customers for such a car. A few months later, the three customers and Dennis met to sign the contract and the F1 GTR project was born, which would give McLaren its first outright win at Le Mans.
Updated 07/06/2016: In order to celebrate 650S GT3’s win at the Nürburgring round of the Blancpain Sprint Series this weekend, McLaren took a look back into the history and released a very cool video featuring the McLaren F1 GTR at the Nürburgring in the fifth race of the 1996 BPR Global GT Series. And you guessed, the F1 GTR was also a winner. Hit "play" to watch the video!
Continue reading to find out more about the McLaren F1 GTR.
2017 McLaren 570S Sprint
Unveiled at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the McLaren 570S is part of the company’s Sports Series, a new family of sports cars designed to help triple the brand’s sales volume by 2020. Powered by a detuned version of the 650S’ 3.8-liter V-8, the 570S is aimed at the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo and, together with the 540C, is one of McLaren’s most affordable sports cars, retailing from under $200,000. Unlike the P1 and 650S, the 570S was developed to deliver day-to-day usability and driveability, as well as increased luggage space and greater interior storage. However, it retains most of the feats common in McLaren sports cars, including a carbon-fiber frame, a lightweight design, and a premium interior.
Like all McLaren road cars, the 570S was also designed to become a track car. The first such vehicle to arrive from the Sports Series was the 570S GT4, which already made its debut in the 2016 British GT championship as a development car before being sold to customers for the 2017 season. Alongisde the GT4, McLaren also created the 570S Sprint, a milder version of the race car that’s also dedicated to customers who spend their weekends at the track. Developed in conjunction with McLaren GT, the brand’s motorsports division, and GT racing specialists CRS GT Limited, the 570S Sprint will break cover at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed and go on sale in 2017.
The 570S Sprint echoes previous models with the Sprint badge, which means that the new sports car is unrestricted by racing regulations, but still dedicated for track days. More importantly, it is upgradable to a full GT4 specification for those looking to take on FIA events around the world.
Updated 07/05/2016: McLaren dropped a new video from the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the 570S Sprint made its global dynamic debut. Hit "play" to watch the video.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 570S Sprint.
2016 McLaren 570S GT4
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.
McLaren has had a rough 2015 Formula One season, with its new Honda power unit not living up to expectations. Having finished the season next to last in the constructors’ championship standings, 2016 can only be an improvement for the Brits. But, despite not being able to win a single race in 2015, McLaren made tremendous progress toward the end of the season and even designed a brand-new Formula One car, the MP4-X.
Unfortunately, the MP4-X isn’t the company’s race car for 2016, but a conceptual vision for the future of Formula One. I say unfortunately only because we won’t get to see it on the race track anytime soon; otherwise, this concept car is as cool and futuristic as they get. Not only because it looks as if it came from the future, but because it packs an enormous amount of technology that’s likely to become the norm in a few years.
“With the futuristic McLaren MP4-X concept race car, we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible. We have combined a number of F1’s key ingredients – speed, excitement and performance, with the sport’s emerging narratives - such as enclosed cockpits to enhance driver safety, and hybrid power technologies,” said John Allert, Group Brand Director of McLaren Technology.
There’s no word as to when this concept race car will be shown to the public, but until that happens you can have a closer look at all the technology behind it in our review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren MP4-X Concept.
The brand-new McLaren 650S was introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the MP4-12C. The sports car debuted in Coupe and Roadster body styles with 640 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque on tap. Powered by the same twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 seen across the entire McLaren lineup, the 650S comes to the market as a competitor for the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Huracan. Coming into 2015, the British sports car is also getting a track suit with a 650S GT3 label on it.
Developed as a successor to the highly acclaimed 12C GT3, the 650S will replace its forerunner in the Blancplain Endurance Series starting next year. Additionally, the new race car will get to showcase its skills in various GT races around the world hoping to match the success of its predecessor. Although it is essentially an updated 12C GT3, the 650S GT3 carries an array of newly-developed racing parts, which are supposed to make it faster and more agile on the track. Only time will tell if the 650S is worthy of the GT3 moniker, but, until then, let’s have a look at the technology behind it.
Updated 07/27/2015: The McLaren 650S GT3 finished honorably in its most demanding test to date this weekend: two entered entered the Total 24 Hours of Spa and both claimed top 10 finishes. McLaren dropped a very nice picture gallery from the race, so enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren 650S GT3.
2016 McLaren P1 GTR
The 2014 McLaren P1 debuted with its hulking 3.8-liter V-8 and electric motor that together produced a mighty 903 horsepower and approximately 1,100 pound-feet of twist. McLaren has already made it clear that there will be plenty of special-edition P1s, and in 2015 the first of these arrives in the form of a track-exclusive P1. In a nod to the McLaren F1 GTR that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1995, the track-prepped P1 carries the same GTR moniker.
Besides featuring a host of aerodynamic and technical improvements, which translate into more horsepower and improved performance, the P1 GTR also marks the introduction of McLaren’s full customer racing program. Just like Ferrari and Lamborghini, the Brits are upping the ante toward organizing private racing events on famous Formula One tracks, but not before the buyers receive private consultations with McLaren’s racing division. Read on to meet McLaren’s new and utterly powerful race car.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren P1 GTR.
Live images from Monterey are courtesy of Carninja and are used with expressed permission.
Much like Ferrari, the oldest surviving and the most successful team in the history of Formula One, McLaren started as a race-car manufacturer long before it began making road cars. Founded in 1963 as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, the team joined F1 as a works entry in 1966. It has since competed in every single season of the series as of 2014, winning eight constructor’s championships and no fewer than 182 wins. Statistically, McLaren is second only to Ferrari when it comes to race starts, total wins, podium finishes, pole positions, fastest laps, and championship points, making it one of the most prominent names in the single-seat auto racing scene. Despite this, the British have not won the constructor’s title since 1998, but scoring podium finishes on 12 occasions through 2012. Both 2013 and 2014 were rather disappointing, with McLaren finishing fifth without scoring a single win. This bitter drought could come to an end in 2015, when McLaren tackles the F1 season with a brand-new chassis and an all-new hybrid powertrain.
While all engine manufacturers developed new power units for the 2014 season, McLaren had to wait until 2015 to benefit from Honda’s return to the sport as a powerplant supplier after a ten-year hiatus. The new alliance is of great historic importance, as it reunites the entities that won four back-to-back world championships between 1988 and 1991. It all began at the end of the iconic Turbo Era and continued well into the 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine period, when McLaren had two of the greatest drivers in history: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
The partnership between McLaren and Honda ended in 1992, when Honda retired only to return with BAR and Jordan between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, McLaren continued with Ford and Peugeot engines for two seasons before turning to Mercedes for a partnership that lasted two decades. Come 2015, McLaren hopes to win its first championship in 16 years using power from Honda’s first F1 engine since 2005. The hybrid powerplant was developed alongside a new single-seater, the MP4-30, with refined aerodynamics, a new nose-box solution and revised livery. Keep reading for the full rundown on McLaren’s all-new Formula One contender.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Race Car.
Introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren 650S took center stage as a replacement for the aging, yet still enticing, MP4-12C. Available in both coupe and roadster guises, the sports car rolled off the assembly line with the proven, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 behind its seats. Motivated by no less than 640 horses and 500 pound-feet of twist, the 650S quickly became the fastest vehicle in its segment, outgunning sports cars wearing both Ferrari and Lamborghini badges. Coming into 2015, the Brits are knighting the 650S a full-time race car by means of a GT3 iteration for the Blancplain Endurance Series and a Sprint racer. Essentially a successor to the 12C GT Sprint, the 650S Sprint is also a track-only model.
The race-ready sports car comes to bridge the gap between the road-going 650S and the endurance-spec GT3 by appealing to amateur motorsport enthusiasts that spend their weekends at the track. Blending technology from both, the 650S Sprint offers the plain looks of the street-legal car spiced up by racing upgrades and a FIA-approved interior. The 650S family just grew larger and we took a deep dive into McLaren’s brand-new racer. Read on to find out more about this spectacular, track-confined beast.
Updated 09/17/2014: The new McLaren 650S Sprint will make its global competitive premiere this weekend at the penultimate round of the GT Cup race at Donington Park, UK. It will be driven by McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell, joined by German-based journalist Dale Lomas.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren 650S Sprint.
McLaren has unveiled their new MP4-27 Formula 1 Race Car that will be used during the 2012 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. This year, the car will be driven by the two world champions: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
The new MP4-27 is a natural evolution of last year’s six-race-winning car, but it has received a number of modifications in order to comply with the new FIA regulations. The 2012 chassis has been substantially revised from the ground-up, with all major systems updated or re-designed for the new season. The racing car has also received more tightly waisted rear bodywork, developed to improve flow to the rear of the car, and a revised cooling system, which re-directs the gearbox oil-cooler. The U-shaped sidepods from last year’s model have also been re-designed due to the new exhaust regulations.
The McLaren MP4-27 Formula 1 Race Car will begin testing on Tuesday February 7th, 2012 at Spain’s Circuito de Jerez with Jenson Button behind the wheel.