Since the debut of its F1 in the early 1990s, McLaren has embodied the closest link between an automaker and its Formula 1 roots. The recent debut of the svelte, modern MP4-12C (now called just the “12C”) put the company on the map once again, allowing McLaren to be mentioned in the same breath as Ferrari and Lamborghini. The company has since expanded the 12C lineup , providing everything from power upgrades, 12C Spider, to the “GT3”-spec racing car for speed-hungry customers.
And now, as the popularity continues to grow, reports indicate that a new “GT Sprint” edition 12C is set to hit markets in the near future, bridging the gap in both track readiness and price that exists between the standard coupe and stripped-down GT3.
The heart of the GT Sprint lies with the familiar 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 found in the base model, still producing a massive 616 horsepower and 592 lb.-ft. of torque. However, for increased structural rigidity during technical track maneuvers, the engine is attached directly to McLaren’s MonoCell chassis, which has also seen a massive reduction in body motion due to improvements in the ProActive Chassis Control system.
The GT Sprint also sits 1.5 inches closer to the ground than does the standard 12C, a feature that when paired with its standard Pirelli race tires, will seriously improve the newest version’s lateral grip. The GT Sprint receives a completely revised, track-ready suspension system over the standard 12Cs, providing a stiffer but more controllable ride.
The GT Sprint sees a number of visible upgrades as well. A carbon fiber front bumper accents a Formula 1-style hood with visible air ducts, while 19-inch track-specific rims hide upgraded carbon ceramic brakes. Despite integrating a race-spec six-point harness and an on-board fire extinguisher, the GT Sprint manages to include a lightweight A/C system, just about the only feature that hints at it’s civilian car status.
Expect the GT Sprint to debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, but don’t expect to get your hands on one – only 20 examples will surface in initial production, each of which will sell for approximately $298,000.
Please enjoy this TFLcar video of another British peformance car, the Jaguar F-Type V8 S.