McLaren GT introduced today a new high performance variant of the 12C, the 12C GT Sprint a.k.a. a track-only variant of the MP4-12C. The new models a new high performance variant of the 12C and the all-out racing 12C GT3 and 12C GT Can-Am Edition models. Just like the standard model, it is powered by a 3.8-liter engine generating 625 hp but comes with a unique oil system and cooling system which features a 12C GT3 developed central front radiator
The GT Sprint uses the same seven-speed twin clutch gearbox used by the 12C road car. Moreover, the track-only model is built around the lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, and with developments to systems such as ProActive Chassis Control, (PCC), Brake Steer and the McLaren Airbrake.
The PCC suspension has been recalibrated in order to suit the cars lower ride height and racing slick tyres. The 12C Sprit comes with three unique handling modes, which allow the driver to select their preferred damping, roll stiffness and ESP settings. In terms of design, we find a more aggressive front bumper, GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts and front wing louvres and centre-locking 19-inch OZ wheels wrapped in Pirelli racing slick tyres. The car is lowered by 40 mm and is fitted with track-focused braking system with carbon ceramic (CCM) brake discs.
Inside, the 12C GT Sprint features a FIA-approved rollcage and integrated fire extinguisher system, adjustable FIA-approved rollcage and integrated fire extinguisher system fitted with six-point harness. Air conditioning is offered in order to keep it comfortable.
A carbon fibre dash houses the race developed digital display and key vehicle controls which interface with a McLaren GT developed steering wheel. Other enhancements include a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) developed aerodynamic package including carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, and further lightweight components including a polycarbonate windscreen. The McLaren 12C GT Sprint is priced under GBP £200,000.
Underpinning the new 12C is the Carbon MonoCell, a chassis made from carbon composite made as a one-piece construction.
The use of carbon composite construction was pioneered by no other than McLaren for 1981 Formula One MP4/1 model. The employment of such construction has led to a trend that soon became a norm among all F1 teams. McLaren was also first to introduce carbon fiber to road cars with the 1993 McLaren F1. The British carmaker then built on this experience by providing the SLR with a carbon fiber chassis and body.
In the past, the use of carbon chassis was limited to the most expensive exotic cars, simply because construction costs have soared due to the complexity of carbon fiber chassis design and build. However, the use of carbon composite – known for its light weight, high strength and torsional rigidity as well as longevity -- to underpin a vehicle has entered a new phase with the new 12C. By engineering carbon composite as a one-piece molding – Carbon MonoCell -- McLaren was able to make this material more affordable. This one-piece molding employed on the 12C marks the first time that a carbon fiber chassis was produced this way.
The 12C’s Carbon MonoCell opens the path for more engineering opportunities that allowed the car to have its distinct character. For instance, the Carbon MonoCell is designed to allow a narrower overall structure, thereby enabling the 12 to become as compact as it could be, making it easier to move on the road and more enjoyable to drive.