As the 1995 GT season drew close, the soon-to-be-launched McLaren F1 GTR began its aggressive testing pattern, probably confident that it would rewrite the rulebook and claim titles across the globe. Just shy of two decades, the covers have been pulled off the dramatic and purposeful McLaren P1™ GTR design concept during a private event at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in California.
Road legislations don’t tie it down. So the McLaren P1™ GTR will be the most track-tailored and most powerful model produced by McLaren Special Operations to date, with race-proven slick tyres, a fixed ride height, enhanced power delivery from the IPAS powertrain and Formula 1™-derived DRS from the large, fixed rear wing and an ERS-style push-to-pass system, all combining to offer the ultimate track experience. But hold your horses, production is almost a year away!
The front track of the McLaren P1™ GTR design concept has been increased by 80mm and is coupled with a more aggressive GT-style front splitter. Reprofiled low temperature radiator ducts seamlessly flow into the leading edge of the aggressively flared front wheel arches, while the active aerodynamic flaps are retained from the McLaren P1™ in the floor ahead of the front wheels.
The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the carbon fibre MonoCage chassis behind the front wheels, and is designed to channel the air from around the wheel well. An additional aerodynamic blade is located behind the wheel arch to clean the air from the front tyres.
If the McLaren P1™ dramatizes racing, the GTR design concept can blow your breath away, hunkered down even lower with the race-prepared suspension and a lower ride height. The snorkel air intake, inspired by the design of the original McLaren F1, is still present within the roof structure of the carbon fibre MonoCage chassis. The wing mirrors have been repositioned to the A pillars, to put them closer to the eye line of the driver and reduce aerodynamic drag, while the trailing edge of the door-mounted radiator channels have been extended to draw more air down through the cavity within the door, and into the engine to aid cooling. Tyre changes are made easier through an onboard air jacking system, similar to that seen on the McLaren 650S GT3 racer.
The road legal McLaren P1™ stows the rear wing within the bodywork, but with the fixed height wing, and therefore no pistons or moving mechanical parts, the bodywork of the McLaren P1™ GTR design concept behind the engine bay is now a smooth, flowing surface, feeding clean air below the wing and over the back of the car.
Below the rear wing is the centrally mounted twin-pipe exhaust, which is an all new design, developed exclusively for the McLaren P1™ GTR. Made from inconel and titanium alloy, the system maximises the aural characteristic of the higher output 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine to maintain, and further emphasise, the McLaren sound.
The original F1 GTR car went on to win the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. The design concept unveiled at Pebble Beach wears a livery, which harks back to it. The chassis will bear the number #01R as the original did. The McLaren P1™ GTR design concept will be launched with the McLaren P1™ GTR driver programme. The ultra-exclusive ownership programme will include specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator, designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically to maximise the McLaren P1™ GTR experience. McLaren Special Operations will maintain and run all cars, and manage the programme throughout.