We’ve seen world famous cars feature in popular racing games, but now it seems that the tables have turned.
McLaren Automotive has tapped into the world of virtual gaming to produce a model that featured prominently in Gran Turismo Sport. We’re referring to the McLaren Solus GT of course, which was featured in the hit video game. But sometime next year, that digital concept vehicle will be seen on some roads around the world.
Yes, the world renowned sportscar maker is building actual McLaren Solus GT cars. According to the car maker, the project represents a stunning realisation of a concept car born from the screens of virtual racing. It presents an extreme expression of track driving engagement realised in a digital world that will exhilarate in the real one for lucky drivers.
Getting your hands on one is impossible. The Solus GT is a special commission for just 25 customers and all cars are already spoken for. The single-seat, closed-cockpit track car was unveiled recently during Monterey Car Week in California.
Engineered to reality by drawing on the full range of McLaren’s experience and expertise across the highest levels of motorsport and supercar and hypercar development, the Solus GT weighs less than 1,000kg with aerodynamic performance including downforce in excess of 1,200kg.
Powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine, the Solus GT will produce approximately 840PS and 650Nm of torque. Paired with a seven-speed sequential gearbox, it delivers a driving experience close to the engagement and sensation of driving a Formula 1 car.
The McLaren Solus GT has a target time of 2.5 seconds for 0-100km/h acceleration and a maximum speed of more than 200mph. As such, the vehicle has the performance credentials needed for an extreme track machine.
Built For Speed
In common with every McLaren since 1981, the Solus GT is based around a carbon-fibre monocoque. The front and rear chassis structures are also made from carbon fibre, with the engine and gearbox forming the rest of the chassis.
The striking exterior design is remarkably faithful to its virtual inspiration. Based on proven aerodynamic principles, its design is further honed by additional CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and wind-tunnel aerodynamic research.
Key design features include a sliding canopy above the single, central seat, 18-inch forged aluminium wheels shrouded in aerodynamic pods and a large front splitter. A motorsport-inspired intake above the cockpit integrated into the design of the roll hoop cover feeds cold air into the engine, while also providing an engaging induction sound. At the rear, a twin-element, fixed rear wing optimes downforce thus straight-line performance as well as enhancing cornering abilities.
Stepping inside, drivers are greeted by a cockpit-like interior akin to a fighter jet. The steering wheel – the design of which is unique among McLaren production cars – takes its inspiration from Formula 1, with dash display and essential controls integrated to suit the tight confines of a single-seater track car.
To further enhance the exhilaration for Solus GT customers, McLaren is offering a full ‘racing driver experience’. This includes a driving seat moulded to the driver’s individual body shape; an FIA-homologated race suit, helmet and HANS device bespoke to each owner, and radio-enabled ear inserts. A full driver-development coaching programme will also be available to help customers fully exploit the potential of their new track hypercar.
McLaren will deliver the first batch of Solus GT cars to customers in 2023.
(Images: McLaren Automotive)