Formula One might still be top of the world motorsport tree, but GT racing is fast emerging as a battleground for incredible winged Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens and Audis. The latest supercar to be shod in slicks and fitted with a full aerodynamics kit is the McLaren 570S, which has made the jump from baby supercar to full on GT4 racer.
Just like the road car it's based on, the GT4 is built around McLaren's carbon fiber MonoCell chassis. Coupled with an FIA-approved rollcage, the 570S GT4 should sit the driver in a safe, stiff environment.
Carbon fiber has also been used for the new bodywork, including a high-level rear wing, a larger front splitter and a redesigned floor assembly. Working with two-way adjustable dampers and coil-over springs, the car's handling setup has been tweaked for the rigors of international motorsport.
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Though the handling and aerodynamic packages have been heavily revised in the transition from road to racetrack, the turbocharged M838TE 3.8-liter V8 engine has been carried over without too many changes. There's a new high-temperature radiator mounted at the front of the car to handle the extra heat created in the, erm, heat of battle.
In its road-going iteration the motor makes 419 kW (562 hp), but McLaren hasn't released details about the output of the engine in race trim. Power is transmitted to the center locking magnesium alloy wheels through the same seven-speed gearbox used in the road car.
The similarities with McLaren's fleet of supercars isn't by accident, according to the brand's CEO, Mike Flewitt. "The launch of the Sports Series has broadened the McLaren brand to a new audience, introducing technologies to the sports car market and to a new group of customers," he said. "The introduction of the 570S GT4 is doing the same in the motorsport world, and will bring the opportunity to own and race a McLaren – previously limited to a very small number of people – to a much wider group."
So, how much will a non-works supported car cost you? Well, racing isn't cheap - something reinforced by the car's €159,900 ($177,280US) price tag. Those desperate to see the car in action can get their first fix at Brands Hatch in April, where it will be driven by Rob Bell and Alasdair McCaig for team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse.
And if all of this sounds great but you just want the car for private trackdays, McLaren will be releasing a Sprint version of the car for private use in the coming weeks.