Official: McLaren 650S GT3

Just a few days after releasing a single teaser image, the new McLaren 650S GT3 has been officially revealed at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014! Designed to replace the 12 GT3 in racing series around the world, the 650S GT3 builds upon its predecessor and promises even more performance.

The McLaren 650S GT3 certainly has a lot to live up to with the 12C GT3 having secured three championship titles as well as 51 race victories while currently leading the Blancpain Endurance Series and the GT Asia Championship.

Obviously based on the new 650S road car, the McLaren 650S GT3 features the revised styling of the road car. As a result, it has the same P1-inspired front bumper. However, it has now received an aggressive front splitter to provide additional downforce as well as larger air intakes while on the flanks, the new carbon fibre bodywork wraps around newly designed air intakes. Elsewhere, the McLaren 650S GT3 features the obligatory fixed rear wing.

Further changes found on the 650S GT3 include revised suspension geometry, a wider track as well as updates to improve drivability. A key focus for McLaren was to reduce the cost of ownership of the 650S GT3 and it has achieved this with extended component life as well as increased engine and gearbox rebuild intervals and parts and systems which are now cheaper to replace than they once were.

Under the hood, the McLaren 650S GT3 features the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as all current McLarens. However, to make it suited for racing, it includes a brand new ECU as well as a six-speed sequential transmission. While the production 650S delivers 642 hp, power of the 650S GT3 has been limited to just below 500 hp which is the same as the 12C GT3 and controlled by the FIA’s Balance of Performance Regulations.

Official: McLaren 650S GT3

Importantly, current owners of the McLaren 12C GT3 can upgrade to the 650S GT3 because the two share many components. For a single 650S GT3 purchased straight from McLaren, price has been set at 330,000 pounds plus tax. Just 15 examples will be produced for the start of the 2015 season with a further 15 12C GT3s likely to be upgraded to 650S spec.

When discussing the new car, chief executive of McLaren, Mike Flewitt said, “The McLaren 650S GT3 is to GT racing what the 650S is to McLaren Automotive, with the new car improving on all areas of a strong existing product, and making it more engaging at the same time. It shares the heart and soul of its road-going sibling with the same 3.8-litre twin turbo engine and the carbon fibre chassis, but turns things up to 11 in terms of aerodynamics. It is truly fit for purpose, but is now accessible to an even wider breadth of abilities and, as with the road car, it provides unprecedented levels of comfort, safety and driver engagement.”

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