McLaren Solus GT arrives as V-10 track car with video game looks

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McLaren wasn’t kidding when a few years back it said it was working on a real-life version of its Ultimate Vision GT track car developed for the “Gran Turismo” video game series.

The result is the wild McLaren Solus GT, unveiled on Friday during 2022 Monterey Car Week.

Just 25 examples are destined to be built, and all build slots are already sold. Deliveries are scheduled for 2023, and pricing information hasn’t been revealed. Something in the seven figures is almost certain.

Like its virtual counterpart, the Solus GT is a single-seater developed strictly for track use. It features a bespoke carbon-fiber monocoque structure, a carbon-fiber body, and a closed-cockpit design with a sliding canopy similar to what you find on a fighter jet. The design provides the driver with a 180-degree line of sight, similar to a formula-style race car. There’s even a 3D-printed titanium halo protection system similar to what you find in Formula 1.

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

Thankfully, it offers a conventional seating position, as opposed to the virtual car, which required the driver be positioned flat on his or her stomach to get the cabin as low as possible. The seat will be molded to suit the car’s owner, who will also receive a race suit, helmet, and HANS brace. McLaren will also include a driver coaching program with the car, similar to previous McLaren track cars such as the P1 GTR.

Power comes from a 5.2-liter V-10 that pumps out more than 829 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, with the peak power arriving at a screaming 10,000 rpm. The engine features barrel-driven throttles for each cylinder, a design taken from motorsport, and it is entirely gear-driven, i.e. there’s no chains or belts for the camshaft and ancillary systems.

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

The engine also serves as a structural element of the car, and spins the rear wheels via a 7-speed sequential gearbox. The gearbox features straight-cut gears that are engaged via a multi-plate carbon-fiber clutch that is fully automated and software controlled. Unlike the virtual car, there’s no electrification here, just the raw V-10 power.

For the exterior design, McLaren managed to remain faithful to the design of the virtual car, despite every element of the Solus GT’s body having been shaped in the wind tunnel. While the canopy and wheel pods are easily the most noticeable elements, there’s no missing the large front splitter that feeds air into a pair of ground-effect tunnels before it exits via a rear diffuser. A dual-plane fixed rear wing is also key to generating the car’s peak 2,645 lb of downforce.

The suspension design is borrowed from F1 and consists of double wishbones with pushrods up front and pullrods at the rear. Manually adjustable four-way dampers are fitted at each corner, and a heave spring and damper system at the front is utilized to provide additional stiffness at speed by limiting vertical movements. Anti-roll bars, which are connected via drop links, also feature at each axle.

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

The 18-inch wheels are made from forged aluminum and housed within aerodynamically shaped wheel pods. The tires are said to be similar to what’s found on a Le Mans prototype racer, and the brakes are also similar to what you find in racing, consisting of 6-piston monobloc calipers and carbon rotors and pads.

Development is ongoing and as a result final performance numbers haven’t been published. However, McLaren said to expect a 0-60 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds, a top speed of more than 200 mph, and track times faster than any other McLaren apart from the single-seat race cars. McLaren also said the car should deliver a driving experience close to that of an F1 race car—something that’s easy to believe given the targeted weight of less than 2,205 lb.

For the lucky few allotted a build slot, special track events will be planned. While McLaren can handle the logistics, the cars will also come with their own flight case to allow owners to support their own track activities. This includes a comprehensive set of tools, vehicle jacks, stands, radio sets, and a coolant pre-heater.

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