Anytime that McLaren announces a new car in the works, it’s a good day for auto enthusiasts everywhere. From the F1 decades ago, to the somehow still futuristic Mercedes-Benz SLR, to the recent superstar MP4, to all of the stunning race iterations, McLaren simply never disappoints. So it goes without saying that it’s fabulous news when McLaren unveils something new.
And that happened today. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren revealed plans for the newest star in the stable: the 650S GT3. It goes without saying that McLaren’s current GT racer – the 12C GT3 – is wildly successful, so the automaker is building on the beauty of that vehicle, rather than starting over.
From a technical standpoint, the 650S GT3 is most noteworthy for its use of CFD and motorsport simulation, which have allowed designers and engineers to dramatically improve aerodynamics and cooling. Thankfully, this has a dual purpose: not only do the enlarged air intakes and splitter increase the performance of the vehicle, but they also take a physically flawless car and make it . . . even more flawless, if such a thing is possible.
The 650S GT3 borrows cues from the street legal 650S as much as from the 12C GT3, as it borrows its little brother’s improved suspension geometry, wider track, and enhanced setup. On top of that, the newest iteration of the GT3 has prioritized reduced cost of ownership, and McLaren is priding the new racer on having prolonged life in each of its key components.
Of course, as they always have, McLaren is keeping up with the times, and then some. And that means an emphasis on safety: the 650S GT3 has all the safety of the 12C, but with a standard six-point harness, with a new and improved race seat that strongly increases both support and comfort.
While the 650S GT3 has the same power output as the 12C, it has increased performance due to a vastly improved, all-new 6-speed sequential gearbox, and an in-house ECU that increases turbo boost incorporation and shift control.
And, because the 650S GT3 shares the chassis and engine with its predecessor, owners of the 12C GT3 are able to upgrade their vehicles, and extend the life.
With the 650S GT3, McLaren failed to disappoint. But then again, we wouldn’t expect anything else.
Photo Credit: McLaren Automotive