McLaren P1 GTR: for those days when a P1 ain’t fast enough

Published: 18 February 2015

► The hardest McLaren P1 yet
► Track-only, for GTR Driver Programme
► 10% more downforce, 1000 horsepower!

 McLaren today showed its new P1 GTR, ending six months of sketches, the Design Concept at Pebble Beach and more drip-feedery. And boy does it look good. 

You might not have thought the roadgoing P1 hypercar needed a faster, harder-charging cousin – but this is it.

Check out our first full gallery and spec details of the fastest McLaren customer track car ever in our story below. And you can watch our P1 vs LaFerrari video twin test at the foot of this page.

McLaren P1 GTR: the lowdown

This is one of two big stories McLaren is preparing for the 2015 Geneva motor show (the other being the 650LT ‘Longtail’). The P1 GTR is Woking’s answer to the XX programme at Ferrari, where the super-wealthiest customers with a penchant for ultimate track days are treated to Button-spec levels of service from the factory.

So the GTR isn’t road-legal; instead it’s the kind of track car you might get if Carlsberg entered the auto industry.

The headline figures are mind-boggling: there’s 1000 horsepower to play, a marginally dented but still more than adequate 987bhp in imperial ponies. The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces 789bhp (up from the road car’s 727bhp) while an upgraded electric motor cranks out an instantaneous 197bhp for that grand total.

But as you can tell just by looking at it, much of the GTR’s appeal is in the race-spec aero. McLaren quotes an additional 10% more downforce than the P1 road car, thanks to that huge rear wing sitting 400mm above the rear deck. At 150mph, this car is creating an additional 660kg in downforce. Which sounds pretty chunky to us.

So what do you get with the McLaren P1 GTR Driver Programme?

If you have enough readies – and we’re talking serious wedge here – you’ll be invited to the factory in Woking where you’ll be assessed for fitness, fatness and final spec of your car with design director Frank Stephenson. Then follows an initial test session at Silverstone followed by your first track day at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

The original 1990s McLaren F1 GTR

Your personalised GTR model will come in a choice of livery; the one presented at Geneva pays tribute to chassis #06R of the F1 GTR, with its beacon yellow paint job. It was one of five F1s to dominate at Le Mans in 1995.

The front track is stretched 80mm wider, the car sits 50mm closer to the ground (extraordinary when you see how low a roadgoing P1 nestles already) and 19in motorsport rims wear sticky Pirelli slicks. 

Weight is junked throughout, so out go the glass side windows, replaced by track-spec perspex items, while niceties such as engine bay covers are ditched and a new titanium and inconel alloy exhaust saved nearly seven kilos. Net diet loss? A chunky 50kg.

If we’ve whetted your McLaren P1 GTR appetite, check out our video twin test when CAR magazine put the regular roadgoing P1 up against a LaFerrari.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet