The McLaren P1 GTR hybrid race car will be the most powerful track-only model ever produced by McLaren Automotive.
McLaren said this new lap-time-minded hybrid model will offer an on- and off-track driving experience like no other, with unique access to the technologies and expertise within the McLaren Technology Centre.
Dynamic testing is well underway at a range of international race circuits, said McLaren, and the first un-camouflaged images show the latest aerodynamic and cooling updates being tested. In addition, the driver-focused cockpit is confirmed to be even more purposeful than the road-going model, and has been designed with driver engagement and weight saving key priorities, but no compromise in terms of comfort and safety.
Linked to the car, the individually-tailored McLaren P1 GTR driver program will, explained McLaren, offer each driver a unique insight into the world of McLaren. Details of the program, which has previously been experienced by race winners and world champions, are explained on the official McLaren Automotive YouTube video.
Inside the McLaren P1 GTR
Images of the interior show how the driving environment of the McLaren P1 GTR has been designed to be as focused for the driver as possible, and stripped of all but the essential items in order to keep weight to a minimum, said the company. The lightweight carbon fiber MonoCage chassis is carried over from the road car, and weighs 90 kilograms including the upper and lower structures (including roof), roof snorkel, engine air intake cavity, battery and power electronics housing. This MonoCage chassis, shared with the road car, meets FIA load requirements for rollover in GT racing category. Since the ‘rollcage’ is incorporated into the MonoCage, there is no reduction in headroom for the driver.
The company developed a specific steering wheel, which it said has been designed to make all controls as easily accessible and user-friendly as possible. As with various elements throughout the car, there is significant heritage linked to the steering wheel: although unique to the McLaren P1 GTR, the design is said to be based on the steering wheel of the 2008 Formula 1 championship-winning MP4-23.
On this new steering wheel, key controls including the mode switches are located to the centre; this allows the driver to fully adjust the setup and characteristics of the car without having to take their hands from the wheel. The DRS and IPAS buttons are retained on the steering wheel. In the design and implementation of this new set up, all controls are said to be comfortably operated, and are easily accessible, when in a full race suit, helmet and gloves.
McLaren added lightweight DTM-style seats and full six-point motorsport harnesses are part of the package. These will be specifically set up for the individual driver, and mounted directly to the chassis, reducing weight by having no additional mounting brackets. The HANS-approved carbon fiber seat shell offers comfort and support; McLaren stated it has been ergonomically-designed along with the rest of the cabin controls. Despite the stripped out environment, the air-conditioning is kept to maintain comfort during the much more physical driving experience.
Testing is ongoing with the dedicated test team of engineers, technicians and development drivers having recently completed a successful test in the extreme desert heat at the Bahrain International Circuit. The testing program was designed to push the capabilities of the upgraded IPAS hybrid powertrain, ensure optimized balance and handling characteristics on the race-proven Pirelli slick tires, and work through aerodynamic developments including the dramatic fixed-height rear wing which includes the Formula 1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS).
The testing schedule was carried out with the latest development prototype, shown in the pictures accompanying this post in Carbon Black paintwork and bare carbon fiber bodywork.
McLaren proudly revealed all tests were completed with results meeting or, in many cases exceeding, the stringent targets set. The McLaren P1 GTR development continues its rapid progress, with further testing scheduled over the winter throughout Europe.