Building on the success of the 12C GT3 – winner of three championship titles and 51 races over the last three years – the new 650S GT3 features improved aerodynamics, better cooling and enhanced safety. Based on the recently launched 650S road car, McLaren's engineers have used the very latest Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology to develop the new lightweight carbon-fibre bodywork, carefully managing the airflow across, through and beneath the car. The result is a car with a huge presence, featuring a menacing new nose, re-profiled side intakes, and a new carbon-fibre fixed rear wing. Under the skin, the suspension geometry has also been completely revised, with a 52mm wider track and new wheels and tyres, ensuring improved front-end grip and drivability.
The cockpit has been thoroughly reworked: McLaren GT has listened to customer feedback within the 12C GT3 programme, and the new 650S GT3 features better refinement and driver comfort, essential factors in GT3 racing. The FIA-approved roll cage has been redesigned to improve leg and headroom; there's a new race seat, a new Formula 1™ inspired steering wheel, a new pedal box; and driver ventilation has also been improved.
The new car produces around 500PS – the same as the 12C GT3, as the power output is governed by FIA regulations – but the McLaren ECU controlling the award-winning 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 has been upgraded, and the engine is now coupled to a new six-speed sequential gearbox.
Reducing the cost of ownership was another priority during the car's development – this has been achieved through extending component life, reducing parts costs and increasing engine and gearbox rebuild intervals.
The programme also promises to benefit existing owners: an upgrade package will be available, allowing existing 12C GT3s to continue racing competitively– for many McLaren GT owners, this will mean their cars have been racing at the highest level for an average of six seasons.
Priced at £330,000 ex works plus tax, around 15 examples of the new McLaren 650S GT3 are scheduled to be built for the start of the 2015 race season. To find out more about the new car, visit the McLaren GT pages.