McLaren Aims Another Gun at Ferrari
By Chuck Squatriglia
Article Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/05/mclaren-mp4-12c-gt3/
Photo Source: McLaren
McLaren is hell-bent on taking down Ferrari in every arena, and the British outfit is expanding its campaign to include an out-of-the-box racer with full factory support for privateers.
The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 is a full-race version of the company’s already quick MP4-12C supercar. While the road-going car is aimed squarely at the Ferrari 458 Italia, the company’s first GT racer since the legendary F1 GTR aims to make mincemeat of the 458 Challenge.
“McLaren has racing in its blood, and it was a natural step to take our MP4-12C road car and turn it into the most reliable, efficient and easy to drive GT3 car,” Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren Group CEO, said in a statement.
Although the GT3 is loaded for bear, the output of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 has been decreased, from 592 horsepower to 493. McLaren says the tweak provides optimal power under race conditions and makes the car more manageable on the track. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox was dumped in favor of a lighter race-spec six-speed sequential unit, and the suspension has tuned for racing.
Aero mods include the massive carbon fiber wing, a new front splitter, a revised rear diffuser and fender louvers. The steering wheel is a carbon copy of the one F1 driver Lewis Hamilton wraps his hands around
McLaren will build 20 cars and supply them to private teams to race throughout Europe next year. It will shake the car down in races at Circuito de Navarra in Spain, Magny-Cours in France and Silverstone in England this year. It also plans to enter the 24 hours of Spa endurance race.