McLaren Automotive is introducing two new track-dedicated models of the Sports Series -- the 570S GT4 and the 570S Sprint. Interestingly, owners of the 570S Sprint could have their track racer upgraded to GT4 specifications. The McLaren 570S GT4 is underpinned by the carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis architecture that also underpins other Sports Series models.
This will mark the first time for this technology to be adapted for the GT4 category, where race-derived material could prove very advantageous because of its strength and light weight nature. Moreover, the McLaren 570S GT4 comes with an FIA-approved rollcage and fire extinguisher system, thereby helping ensure that the driver is protected from harm.
The track car’s re-profiled bodywork – makes use of carbon fiber and aluminum – that is formed over wider track on both front and rear, thereby provides room for the center-locking lightweight cast magnesium alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli racing tires. The front and rear axles of the McLaren 570S GT4 feature two-way adjustable motorsport dampers with coil-over springs. An on-board air jacking system is fitted as standard on the McLaren 570S GT4.
Since the McLaren 570S GT4 is focused on achieving fast lap times, it comes with an aerodynamic package that includes a GT4-specification high level rear wing mounted on aluminum pylons, a re-profiled floor assembly and a larger front splitter. The vehicle’s GT3-inspired bonnet features radiator exit ducts for cooling down an extra front center high temperature radiator.
All of these have been designed to optimize the track vehicle’s aerodynamic performance and cooling, thereby ensuring it could deliver a considerable performance even in the severest race conditions around the world. Powering the McLaren 570S GT4 is the 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 M838TE engine featured on road-going Sports Series model. Transmitting power from the engine to the rear wheels is a seven-speed seamless shift gearbox also found in other models in the range.
McLaren developed the 570S GT4 along with McLaren GT and CRS GT Limited and has now placed the vehicle under a season-long development program in the British GT championship. McLaren GT and CRS GT Limited will be collaborating with customer team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse, who plans to use an example of the 570S GT4 in its campaign for the upcoming full nine-round race calendar – thereby subjecting the vehicle to a rigorous testing schedule in live race environments, like the Spa-Francorchamps.
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse plans to enter one example of the 570S GT4 alongside the 650S GT3 piloted by Factory Driver Rob Bell and Alaisdair McCaig. Its public development debut will be at the opening round of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, United Kingdom on April 16-17, 2016. The McLaren 570S GT4 should be eligible for all GT4 homologated championships around the world starting from the 2017 season.
It will have a starting price of £159,900 (excluding works). Meanwhile, the 570S Sprint will be dedicated for private track days, which means it is not limited by any racing regulation. Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive, remarked that just like all of the carmaker’s road-going models, the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are able to provide an engaging and exciting drive. He noted that the introduction of the Sports Series has allowed McLaren to cater to a new audience while introducing technologies to the sports car market and to a new set of customers.
He quipped that the 570S GT4 will provide a wider part of the public with an opportunity to own and race a McLaren, which had been restricted to a small number of people. On the other hand, McLaren Automotive has confirmed the hiring of Ansar Ali as Motorsport Director, a newly created position that should highlight the carmaker’s renewed focus on motorsport. Ali will be in charge of on-going strategy and management of the carmaker’s motorsport activities.
Flewitt welcomed Ali to McLaren Automotive, adding that his role as Motorsport Director will be key to the carmaker’s long-term plans. Meanwhile, Ali said he is proud and honored to be joining McLaren Automotive. He noted that McLaren’s track activities have played a key role in making the carmaker globally recognized. He remarked that the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are an important initial step in shaping McLaren’s motorsport strategy.
Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director at CRS GT Limited, remarked that 570S GT4 signifies an important development of McLaren as a player in the motorsport world as it provides drivers with an opportunity to race on a higher skill level. He noted that 650S GT3 is focused on drivability, which allows drivers to easily access and exploit its performance capabilities. He added that these attributes will be taken by new 570S GT4 to a new level, thereby making drivers more confident to see the full extent of this car’s capabilities.