McLaren Solus GT is the ultimate track weapon, born from a video game
You’ve probably driven the McLaren Solus GT, in the Gran Turismo SPORT video game. Even in-game, it’s an over-the-top performance vehicle with its razor-sharp handling. Not content with the appreciation he received in the gaming community, McLaren engineers just did it in real life. Yes, a virtual car powered by a 5.2-liter V10, brought back to reality, which can do 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and the engine revs up to 10,000 rpm. Limited to a series of only 25 cars, the McLaren Solus GT is already sold outso put down your checkbook.
This stunning race car was unveiled by McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters during Monterey Car Week 2022 in California. His speech featured one of the most evocative lines of any car enthusiast – designed without any restrictions from road or racing regulations. It may not carry the extreme pedigree of the McLaren Senna XP El Triunfo Absoluto, but dear lord, this thing is desirable.
Its technical specifications are crazy
We mentioned the screaming 5.2-liter V10 that revs to 10,000 rpm, and it develops 828 hp of peak power and 480 lb-ft of peak torque. Add to that the fact that it weighs less than 2200 pounds and you begin to realize what a serious racer it is for trail use. All of those aero tweaks equate to 2645 pounds of downforce, which is considerably more than even Lando Norris’ Formula 1. Now, because the engine is running at ridiculously high rpm, Solus GT uses barrel accelerators for each cylinder instead of conventional butterfly valves. These have a fair share of upsides and complexities, but McLaren engineers have worked tirelessly to make it flawless. They also made the engine a stressed part of the car’s chassis to further optimize weight and reduce some chassis components.
Another detail that underscores its crazy intentions on the track is that the seven-speed sequential transmission uses straight-cut gears that are engaged via a carbon fiber multi-disc clutch. It is controlled by software to initiate ultra-fast and precise gear changes. Another gorgeous detail to note is the front suspension links covered in carbon fiber aero fairings. Although the Solus GT can hit 200 mph, that number is irrelevant for a track-only machine, because cornering speed is what matters, and you’re not going to drag race this thing. . McLaren’s prowess in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research and wind tunnel studies have enabled high levels of aerodynamic efficiency through its complex bodywork. They even used 3D printing for structural components like the halo around the driver and the roll bar for maximum strength and lightness.
Suspension and brakes help it handle like a dream
As well as immediate throttle response, McLaren’s Formula 1 learning reaches Solus’ double wishbones. Track-only means the outboard-mounted front wheels have inboard damping and the gearbox-case-mounted rear bars are linked to pull rods. The front also features ride height springs that limit vertical movement, making the front track more stable at higher speeds. McLarens are designed to be driver-inspiring track cars and all that suspension trickery works great for the Solus GT. The extreme lengths of the Solus GT’s engineering suggest the direction the brand will take to produce user-friendly cars. Yes, future McLarens are going to be incredibly extreme.
The 18-inch forged wheels are shod with Le Mans Prototype spec tires, both of which are available in slick and wet compounds. Here’s what’s definitely needed on a track day monster, the driver can adjust front and rear brake bias from the cockpit.
The pilot is at the center of the development
McLaren will involve all 25 owners in the product development process to build each of these unique, custom cars for all of these super wealthy customers. This includes everything from the custom fixed seat, controls, displays, etc. Did we mention the impressive sliding canopy over the single seat, as close as it gets to being in a fighter jet and flying it, literally. The canopy also has an escape hatch in case the sliding mechanism gets clogged if you’ve swerved into the trees without going fast enough for that massive downforce to kick in. There is also a full “racing driver experience” offered to customers. Essentially, they mold the seat exactly for the rider, give you an FIA homologated racing suit, a crash helmet and more. Graciously, the pilot will benefit from a coaching program to manage all this firepower on the track.
Since everything is centered on the circuit, all the controls have been concentrated on the carbon fiber steering wheel. Just be glad they gave it an HVAC system, or else those crazy engineers may have omitted it from the plans in search of more performance and the driver will be sweaty and angry. To add more drama, the ignition switch has been placed above the driver’s head, Top Gun Maverick star Tom Cruise will approve. In addition, the reversing camera is broadcast in real time to the driver. Now stop being jealous of all those 25 customers, McLaren will start delivering them from 2023 with a specially designed flight case.