McLaren 12C GT Sprint: Details on McLaren’s Newest Track Car
Last July I called the McLaren 12C GT Sprint a “kindler, gentler kidney-jarring, neck-snapping track machine” after waxing poetic about Arlo Guthrie lyrics. And, after taking in the latest news from McLaren on the 12C GT Sprint, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. There is nothing kinder or gentler about this particular neck-snapping track machine.
Starting at £195,000 ($315,841), the McLaren 12C GT is the latest MP4-12C-based track-optimized car, after the 12C GT3 and 12C GT Can-Am Edition. This is more of a hobbyist’s racer… a very rich hobbyist, but a hobbyist non-the-less. While not as thoroughly bonkers as its professional racer siblings, the 12C GT Sprint has some pretty serious performance technology, like Brake Steer, the active McLaren Airbrake and Proactive Chassis Control, that join forces with McLaren’s 616 hp M838T 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V8 and seven-speed dual clutch gearbox off of the “regular” McLaren MP4-12C and 12C Spider).
Inside, the McLaren 12C GT Sprint is all business. Starting with the MP4-12C’s carbon fiber MonoCell (that weights a scant 165 pounds, the same as your’s truly), everything inside the 12C GT Sprint is designed with one thing in mind… performance.
Most of the gizmos and gadgets that make the MP4-12C such as nice place to be, like the comfy-ish seats, sound system and nav, have been nixed in the interest of saving weight. All that remains are HANS-approved lightweight composite racing seats with six-point harnesses, full FIA-approved roll cage, a digital dash display, an integrated fire supression system and, in a small nod to creature comfort, air-conditioning. The A/C is probably quite useful, because I imaging that taking a corner a bit too fast in your bajillion dollar track car causes a person to schvitz, at least a little.
Outside, the McLaren 12C GT Sprint is differentiated from other 12C variants by is “form following function” design. The ride height is lowered by 1.6 inches for a better center-of-gravity. And, an aerodynamically aggressive front bumper, radiator exit ducts, front wing louvres and a big-ass rear wing help to reduce lift at the absurd speeds of which the car is capable.
Race spec brakes live inside center-locking 19-inch wheels wearing Pirelli tires that look as if they’re painted onto the rims but are probably stickier than watermelon Bubblicious on parking lot tarmac. In probably the coolest feature, the 12C GT Sprint features an on-board air jack. Awesome, no? Like I said, the McLaren 12C GT Sprint starts at £195,000 ($315,841), and it is probably one of the best hobbyist track cars available today. Check out the press release below for more info. And, enjoy the photo gallery.
McLaren 12C GT Sprint Press Release
Following its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren GT has now confirmed the 12C GT Sprint will be priced at GBP £195,000*. The latest model from the GT racing arm of the McLaren Group has been developed and optimised exclusively for the race track.
The 12C GT Sprint has been designed and built by McLaren GT, in close consultation with the team at McLaren Automotive, and retains many of the unique systems from the 12C road car, on which it is based. Groundbreaking technologies and systems have been honed, including Brake Steer and the active McLaren Airbrake, while a recalibrated Proactive Chassis Control (PCC) system helps deliver a truly bespoke GT racing experience, which can be set to individual driver preference.
Power comes from the highly-efficient M838T 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 powerplant found in the 12C and 12C Spider, and generates 625PS, while the familiar seven speed twin clutch gearbox from the 12C is also retained. Optimised oil and cooling systems are unique to the track-focused racer.
The 12C GT Sprint is built around the 12C’s 75kg carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, but any unnecessary systems or creature comforts have been removed to keep weight to a minimum. The car features a number of components carried over from the successful 12C GT3 race car, including the FIA-approved safety roll cage, central cooling radiator and digital dash display.
Styling upgrades on the 12C GT Sprint follow the McLaren mantra of ‘form following function’, with each enhancement designed to optimise performance. Stability and dynamics are further enhanced through a drop in ride height of 40mm, while a more aggressive front bumper, GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts and front wing louvres improve downforce and give a purposeful look. The highly effective track-focused braking system features GT race specification brake discs, which sit behind centre-locking 19-inch wheels, shod with Pirelli competition tyres. As with the 12C GT3, an on-board air jacking system is fitted to aid tyre changes.
Inside the cockpit, a fully adjustable HANS-approved, lightweight composite racing seat fitted with full six-point harness provides the optimum driving position, while an air-conditioning system is retained offering added comfort. An integrated fire extinguisher system is also installed.
Throughout the development programme, McLaren GT has worked with a strong pool of resource to develop and optimise the set up of the 12C GT Sprint. This has seen McLaren GT works drivers Rob Bell and Adam Carroll, McLaren Racing Young Driver Stoffel Vandoorne and McLaren Automotive chief test driver Chris Goodwin spending time in the cockpit, and covering in excess of 5,000 track kilometers at circuits across Europe and the Middle East, as well as extensive simulator work.
Commenting on the 12C GT Sprint programme, Chris Goodwin explained: ‘The 12C GT Sprint has been designed as a true track-focused racer, offering increased levels of downforce, grip and durable track performance. Retaining all of the innovative technology and characteristics of the 12C road car such as active aero, Brake Steer and the innovative PCC suspension system, dynamically, the 12C GT Sprint takes things to a new level with the addition of many race track specific features.
‘The 12C road car has universally acclaimed levels of drivability and cornering performance to compliment its phenomenal levels of power and torque. As a driver this potent combination just inspires confidence all the way round a lap and in the 12C GT Sprint, that lap is now considerably faster!’
Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director at McLaren GT added: ‘The 12C GT Sprint offers a true insight into GT car levels of performance, in terms of downforce and grip. The 12C is one of the most accomplished high performance sportscars ever built, and the enhancements featured on the 12C GT Sprint build on, and optimise, these abilities to create one of the most usable track cars available, with levels of performance that are truly and easily accessible.’
A range of options and packages are available through McLaren GT, each of which is designed to offer even greater levels of performance and individuality, with improved levels of downforce and further reduction in weight. Upgrades include a bespoke carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, and a lightweight polycarbonate windscreen. The 12C GT Sprint is presented as standard in historic McLaren Orange, but can be specified in any bespoke colour, on request.
* base car plus applicable taxes/duties. For more information visit cars.mclaren.com.