There aren’t many manufacturers out there who are prepared to take what can only be found in the virtual world and turn it into the real thing. Well, McLaren has done just that with its Solus GT it recently unveiled at Monterey Car Week.
Originally designed for the Gran Turismo Sport video game as part of its Vision GT concept car series in 2017, the track-only racer features a single-seat, closed-cockpit layout and a unique power plant under the bonnet.
McLaren claims the car is capable of the fastest lap times of any of its cars found outside of single-seater racing which we don’t doubt for a second considering it weighs in at less than 1000kg while producing downforce in excess of 1200kg.
It’s what powers the Solus GT that really brings the statement that it “delivers a driving experience close to the engagement and sensation of driving a Formula 1 car” to life though.
The Solus GT is powered by a 5.2-litre V10 that revs to 10,000rpm that produces 617kW and 650Nm, further boosted by an electric motor mounted to each front wheel. For the first time in a McLaren production car, the engine is a stressed member, therefore removing the need for additional chassis structures and subframes behind the carbon fibre monocoque.
Mated to the V10 is a race-derived seven-speed sequential gearbox manufactured from aluminium and magnesium with the rear suspension fixed to its casing. Internally, straight-cut gears are engaged via a multi-plate carbon fibre clutch, perfect for aggressive on-track driving. As the system is fully automated and software controlled, the driver need not worry about operating the clutch.
Performance figures are also ones to be found in the highest ranks of any racing game with a target time of 2.5 seconds set for the racer’s 0 to 100km/h acceleration and a max speed of over 321km/h.
Bringing the car to a stop are six-piston monoblox machined calipers and carbon brake discs and pads. Brake bias can be adjusted by the driver in the cockpit.
Visually, the car looks exactly like its virtual counterpart. It comes complete with the two front wheels shrouded by aerodynamic pods, a large front splitter that feeds air into ground-effect tunnels leading into a rear diffuser and a twin-element fixed rear-wing which contributes the most to the car’s high downforce figure.
Stepping inside via the Solus GT’s sliding canopy, the driver can find a fixed seating position with an adjustable pedal box and a Formula 1 style steering wheel complete with dash display.
Like a real race car, McLaren is hosting track events for the car bringing along with it a case of tools, jacks, stands and coolant pre-heater all required for things to go smoothly.
The track-only racer has already sold out with only 25 units being made and will be delivered in 2023.
Could it be a rival for the Kiwi-built, track only Rodin FZero?