McLaren is looking to expand its market by introducing a customer racing division for both professional and amateur drivers alike. That means we're seeing the introduction of the McLaren 720S GT3, which is about to get some track testing in the US and Europe.
It's a pretty similar build to the road car with a light, stiff carbon fibre chassis. The engine and aerodynamics are the focuses here. Pairing a race-prepared version of the M840T 4.0L twin turbo V8 with some swanky new aero means you're getting a solid package that'll make you feel like you're a real live race car driver.
All the other features, like the brake systems and interior, are updated from the road car to FIA standards to make them ideal for harder, faster driving that can go from road to track with no problems. Motorsport director of McLaren, Dan Walmsley, had this to say in the press release:
The McLaren 720S is such a multi-talented road car that we always knew honing its pure racing talents and making a GT3 car out of it would be an entirely natural process - and so it has been. While largely a bespoke machine, the GT3 car is still a McLaren 720S at its core.
Developing a race car is about optimising every component and the lightweight MonoCage II carbon fibre chassis is the perfect base for this.
The first two development cars have been designed and built at a brand new GT race facility in Woking. One of those cars is going to the States and the other is sticking it out in Europe before they both test in the Middle East. They're going to be running 28,968km tests with both 24 and 36-hour endurance trials to make sure these bad boys are built to last.
These cars are all going to be hand-built. It's important that everything is perfect before they settle completely on the design they're going to use.
The GT3 is priced at around $US565,000 ($771,117) — all things considered, it's not too expensive for something designed to kick arse on the track.
The competition debut is set for 2019, and with all the prep work going into getting things together, it looks like it's going to be a nearly perfect product right from the get-go.