Slick McLaren a road legal racer

Riley Riley

McLaren reckons its new limited edition 620R is the first car in its class to offer true motorsport credentials in a fully road-legal package.

Based on the successful McLaren 570S GT4 race car, just 350 of the gorgeous coupes will be produced.

Each will feature a dedication plaque on the centre console with the build number.

McLaren has enjoyed significant GT race success in recent seasons and the 570S GT4 has been instrumental in adding to that record.

The 620R delivers the same driving experience, but on the road — it looks like a race car, handles like a race car, performs like a race car and feels like a race car.

A high level of commonality with the 570S GT4 race car has been an integral part of the development.

They have the same, single-piece carbon fibre Monocell II chassis that provides the foundations for the strength and light weight of the car, with a targeted dry weight of 1282kg.

This carbon fibre core underpins the dynamic precision and composure for which McLarens are renowned.

These characteristics have been enhanced in the 620R with the inclusion of the GT4’s adjustable aerodynamic elements, race-derived suspension components and powertrain recalibration — to increase power and performance.

Freedom from racing regulations has allowed the engineers to boost the output of the M838TE 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8.

The engine ECU and turbocharger management have been reconfigured to achieve 455kW, making this the most powerful Sports Series car yet.

The engine develops 620Nm of torque, with benchmark performance figures of 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200km/h in 8.1 seconds.

Maximum speed is 322km/h.

The use of stiffer powertrain mounts reduces drivetrain forces under acceleration, minimising the effect of inertia under high load.

The 7-speed Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) delivers super-fast shift times, further aided in Track model by McLaren’s Inertia Push technology, which converts built-up flywheel energy into a momentary burst of torque on upshift.

For added drama on the road the driver can select Sport mode and hear the upshift ‘crack’ created by a split-second cut of the ignition spark during a gearshift.

“The McLaren 570S GT4 is a first-class GT race car that having won races in every championship it has competed in since its first appearance in 2017 is attracting an increasing number of customer racing teams,” McLaren’s Mike Flewitt said.

“Now, in response to repeated customer requests, we have homologated that class-leading package for the road in the new McLaren 620R, a limited-edition, 620PS superlight coupé that is the perfect choice for an enthusiast wanting an authentic motorsport driving sensation – and performance to match – on both track and road.”

This is the first time that a road-legal car with 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels has been engineered to be able to run on slick tyres without the need for additional mechanical adjustment.

This means that if weather conditions allow, owners can on arrival at a circuit either fit a second set of wheels or change tyres and go straight out on track without further delay.

Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres are standard.

The adjustable carbon fibre rear wing is the same component fitted to the 570S GT4.

Raised 32cm into the cleaner airflow above the vehicle to increase downforce while minimising drag, the wing is road legal thanks to its newly incorporated third brake light.

Customers will receive their cars with the wing set to the least aggressive of its three available angles, optimising front/rear balance for road driving.

The more aggressive angles – which can be set by a McLaren retailer – increase rear downforce still further, contributing to a maximum of 185kg and enabling even quicker circuit-running.

Fitment of the GT4’s two-way manually adjustable coilover motorsport dampers allow 32 clicks of adjustment per corner to allow a driver to tailor compression and rebound rates to suit their driving style and track conditions.

Stopping power comes from McLaren’s latest lightweight braking system, which in the track-focused set-up comprises carbon ceramic discs (390mm front, 380mm rear) and forged aluminium brake calipers all round.

Production is set to begin in January, with the car priced from £250,000 or about $480,000 Aussie dollars.

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