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McLaren Shows Racy P1 GTR at Pebble Beach

McLaren is developing an even more insane version of its 903 horsepower P1 supercar. Dubbed the P1 GTR, McLaren used the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in Monterey, Calif. to unveil a design concept of the car that it displayed on the event’s Concept Lawn. Packing an additional 83 horsepower from its V8 hybrid-electric drivetrain compared to the standard P1, the P1 GTR is a thoroughbred racecar that will begin production early in 2015. Think of it as McLaren’s version of the Ferrari Enzo-based FXX racecar.

McLaren Special Operations will handle the track-only car’s production as soon as the 375th and final P1 road car leaves the factory. MSO is responsible for a number of exclusive bespoke McLaren vehicles, like the unique 12C-based McLaren X-1 that debuted at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, not to mention a number of one-off car’s that were displayed on the Concept Lawn.

Utilizing technology from the British sports car manufacturer’s Formula 1 efforts, the P1 GTR gives drivers the opportunity to achieve temporary “boosts” in performance via a push-to-pass system, and a drag reduction system. The former system temporarily summons additional horses from the P1 GTR’s electric motors, while the latter system momentarily alters the angle of the car’s massive rear wing in order to reduce drag and allow the car to achieve a higher top speed. Additional measures, like repositioned exterior mirrors, a new exhaust system, and a fixed suspension in place of the road-going car’s adjustable suspension, further distinguish the 986 horsepower P1 GTR from the standard P1 supercar.

As the first McLaren to use the GTR moniker since the legendary McLaren F1 GTR took home the checkered flag at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren has a lot riding on the P1 GTR. And while the car McLaren displayed on the Concept Lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is still a design study, we expect the production P1 GTR to look very similar, if not identical, to the car we saw in California.

More importantly, is where will the P1 GTR race? While McLaren notes that P1 GTR ownership will consist of participation in driving events located at some of the best racecourses the world has to offer, we’d like to see the P1 GTR follow in the footsteps of the McLaren F1 GTR and race in the 24 hours of LeMans.

Whatever the venue, one thing is for certain: owning a McLaren P1 GTR might make anyone into an all-star racing driver, as McLaren will also offer owners of the P1 GTR access to its racing simulators and driving training experts that have worked with a number of Formula 1 drivers. “Exclusive consultation” with McLaren’s design director Frank Stephenson and driver fitness team are also included, though the company makes no mention if it will fly P1 GTR owners to its Woking, United Kingdom headquarters for the experience. However, if you can afford the undoubtedly exorbitant price of a McLaren P1 GTR, there’s no reason you can’t afford the occasional flight to England to take advantage of the many benefits of the program.

– Gregory S. Fink

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