June 28, 2014

McLaren GT unveils latest generation 650S GT3 at Festival of Speed

In the grounds of the famous Goodwood Estate, McLaren GT has confirmed first details of the McLaren 650S GT3 - the latest generation track-focused racer which will contest GT3 championships across the globe from the 2015 season. Building on the highly successful
12C GT3, which has firmly re-established McLaren at the front of the GT grid over the past three seasons, the 650S GT3 was unveiled in front of fans and the global motorsport media at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Based on the recently unveiled McLaren 650S, and built around the same lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, the GT3 iteration has been honed using CFD technology and the latest in automotive and motorsport simulation to offer enhanced aerodynamics and improved levels of cooling. At the front, an aggressive splitter and larger air intakes dominate the purposeful new look, incorporating the familiar McLaren 'face' - albeit a more aggressive and menacing version, while on the flanks, the all-new lightweight carbon fibre bodywork wraps around reprofiled air intakes, which offer further optimised cooling. The fixed carbon fibre rear wing works in tandem with the large carbon fibre splitter to complete the management of air as it is worked across, through and beneath the sleek lines of the 650S GT3.

The road-going version has been designed and developed to provide 'the ultimate in driver engagement on the road', and the 650S GT3 uses this same approach. Revised suspension geometry, wider track and updates to the overall setup provide enhanced levels of drivability, optimising engagement for the wide range of drivers competing in GT racing. In addition, the updates have been made with added emphasis on endurance racing, pulling from the learnings over the past few years, and responding to feedback from the customer teams.

Reduced cost of ownership has been a priority during the design and development of the 650S GT3, and this has been achieved through extended component life, including increased engine and gearbox rebuild intervals, together with re-designed components and systems to reduce parts costs. Body panel design and fit have also been optimised which will not only minimise pit lane repair times but also aids weight distribution through the use of lighter components.

"The McLaren 650S GT3 is to GT racing what the 650S is to McLaren Automotive, with the new car improving on all areas of a strong existing product, and making it more engaging at the same time. It shares the heart and soul of its road-going sibling with the same 3.8-litre twin turbo engine and the carbon fibre chassis, but turns things up to 11 in terms of aerodynamics. It is truly fit for purpose, but is now accessible to an even wider breadth of abilities and, as with the road car, it provides unprecedented levels of comfort, safety and driver engagement," said Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive.

Andrew Kirkaldy, MD, McLaren GT, added, "The 650S GT3 is a natural progression of an already successful racer, but we have looked at all the different areas where we could possibly make even the slightest incremental improvement. The revised aerodynamic profile looks much more purposeful, and we have managed to incorporate increased levels of cooling without any detriment to performance. A big step forward has also been made in terms of servicing the car, which can be the difference between a race win and finishing off the podium, and the cost of running a car at a competitive level, and this becomes more important the longer and more demanding the event. By simplifying maintenance and repair processes, and cutting down the time and costs involved, the 650S GT3 will be even more competitive at the longer endurance events with time required in the pitlane reduced to a minimum."

"Throughout the development programme, we have focused on making the 650S GT3 even more enjoyable and engaging to drive for the wide range of drivers that are competing in GT racing around the world. With a broader envelope of performance, which is easier to access, more drivers will be able to exploit the true potential of the 650S GT3. One example is with the wider track, which gives greater levels of grip and improves handling."

"This is a car that is improving on a race-winning formula, and is designed and built to offer even greater levels of driver involvement, but also to be easier to drive. This is a crucial factor in any racing car, but especially with long-distance and endurance racing, where drivers can double or even triple stint, where we compete on a huge variety of circuits and where weather and track conditions vary regularly throughout a race," said Chris Goodwin, Chief Test Driver, McLaren Automotive.


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