If you know your 24 Hours of Le Mans history, you might recall the time that McLaren won the 1995 event with its F1 GTR. The car itself was incredible and dominated almost every competition that it was involved in. For most people, however, this didn't come as that big of a surprise. After all, the F1 GTR was based on the fastest production car currently known to man at the time.
Despite all of its achievements, however, the F1 would hold the spotlight much longer. The F1 GTR program would come to an end in 1998 after both McLaren and BMW (the engine supplier) decided that it was time to move on. Soon after, many of the existing GTRs would be modified for road use and then sold to private entities. No one really expected McLaren to revive the GTR nameplate again.
However, in 2014, McLaren officially announced that they would finally be reviving the GTR nameplate with their P1 model attached. The purpose behind this decision would be to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of their 24 Hours of Le Mans win. According to the British manufacturer, the P1 GTR would not only be McLaren's best track car but, apparently, a car that was exclusive to the track.
So, was McLaren able to come through on that promise? Well, to be honest, you probably already know the answer to that question. But, if you're somebody who needs definitive proof, don't worry because we've got plenty of it.
Let's take a quick look at some of the attributes that make the McLaren P1 GTR such a great track weapon.
It Has Enough Downforce To Make An F1 Car Blush
One of the key hallmarks of any good track car of today is aerodynamics. As you can imagine, the P1 GTR has plenty to offer in this department. At the front, everything had been constructed to allow the car to slice through the air as efficiently and easily as possible. More importantly, however, is the gigantic fixed wing at the back. Not only does it push 1,455 lbs worth of air down onto the car, but it even features a fully operational Formula One style drag reduction system (DRS).
Obviously, no amount of aero upgrades are worth a thing without a proper racing chassis. Knowing this fact, McLaren decided to keep the car at a fixed height of 4.4 in and placed the body on "race-prepared suspension." Further, they also mounted all of this onto a very wide set of 19-inch rims that are adorned with tailor-made Pirelli slicks. As a result of these efforts, the race-built McLaren can pull a neck-snapping 2.15 worth of lateral Gs, all while staying relatively composed and stable.
The McLaren P1 GTR Has More Power Than You'll Know What To Do With
In addition to great handling, another thing that we absolutely love about this brute is the fact that it houses a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter hybrid V8 that produces almost four digits worth of horsepower. Specifically, this thing's nuclear reactor of an engine develops 986 hp, as well as 1,045 lb-ft of torque! Moreover, the unit that has been left in charge of managing all of this ferocity is that of a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Together, these elements of engineering excellence are able to propel this British rocket from 0-60 mph in an astonishing 2.8 seconds. If you dare to continue pushing your hoove straight into the P1 GTR's carbon fiber MonoCage, you may just find the digital readout displaying the numbers "217". Fortunately, however, if you get scared, the brakes will be able to take you from 60-0 mph in an impressively short distance of only 85 ft.
You Won't See Another On The Road
McLarens, in general, are a pretty rare bunch. Sure, you may see one here and there, but overall it's not a brand that most of us are accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. This all makes quite a bit of sense when you realize that the British supercar maker only produces around 4,800 units a year. Keep in mind; these vehicles are then sold all over the world, so that's not really all that much.
Funnily enough, McLaren has taken things one giant leap further with their P1 GTR. Specifically, the company decided that it would only produce and sell 375 models in total. Granted, this still isn't as exclusive as their previous "commemoration" model: The F1 LM. Crazily enough, only five of those things were actually built and sold (plus one that McLaren kept for themselves).
The P1 GTR Comes With VIP Access To Various Racing Events
One of the worst things about "track-specific" vehicles is the fact that you must have access to a race track to use it. Sure, if you can afford a P1 GTR (which costs a cool $3.1 million), that probably won't be too difficult to accomplish. But what if you want more out of your hyped-up supercar than just endlessly driving around a track by yourself?
Fortunately for buyers of the P1 GTR, they'll automatically be invited to a variety of McLaren-based track events around the world. Additionally, you'll even get access to some simulator time as well. And when you consider the fact that this car is rear-wheel drive and has almost 1,000 hp, the latter of these benefits really starts to become quite alluring. After all, a little practice never hurt anyone, and besides, who really wants to see a beautiful McLaren smoldering on the side of Leguna Seca anyways?