Vijay Pattni30 June 2014

Meet the McLaren 650S GT3 racer

Goodwood debut for track-only GT car set for 2015 race season. Too orangey for crows

With 71 podiums, 51 race wins and three championship titles to date, the McLaren 12C GT3 has some pretty big boots to fill.

And here's the car that must fill them. This is the new 650S GT3, and is McLaren's track-only GT racer that's set to compete in races from the 2015 season onwards.

And, as you can see, it's based on the new 650S road car that takes over from the 12C. Underneath sits the same MonoCell chassis, while up top is a rather angry incarnation of the new 650S's body: wider, squatter, larger air intakes, more aggressive splitter, carbon fibre bodywork and a huge fixed rear wing.

Then there's the FIA-approved rollcage, a digital dash, a new McLaren GT-developed race seat with moulded seat inserts - said to increase driver comfort for endurance racing - itself bolted directly to the chassis, along with better ventilation and driver cooling. Remember, it gets hot in there.

Of course, you'll also get McLaren's award-winning 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T V8, with a new ECU, matched to an all-new six-speed sequential motorsport transmission, driving the rear wheels. Furiously.

How furious? Because of the FIA's balance of performance regs - to keep all cars on a level playing field - the Macca's V8 is limited to just under 500bhp, the same power as the outgoing 12C GT3.

As mentioned, it's wider than the 12C GT3 car - 52mm wider, no less - with larger racing tyres and new forged aluminium racing wheels. There's a revised hub bearing assembly and suspension components said to have a better lifespan to reduce maintenance. Brakes are new, too.

Existing 12C GT3 owners can upgrade to the 650S GT3's spec - because of that shared chassis and engine - though if you want to buy the new boy outright, it'll cost you £330,000. Plus tax.

McLaren is planning on building and delivering 15 650S GT3s for the start of next year. Want to make that 16?

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