McLaren P1 GTR interior revealed | CAR Magazine

McLaren P1 GTR interior revealed

Published: 22 October 2014 Updated: 26 January 2015

First pictures have been revealed of the extreme, track-only McLaren P1 GTR’s interior. Aimed at those for whom the regular McLaren P1 just isn’t quite quick enough, the GTR will be the most powerful machine yet made by McLaren’s automotive arm with 1000 metric horsepower (986bhp). Enough to frighten a few Caterhams at your local trackday, anyway.

McLaren P1 GTR interior: first look

Unsurprisingly, the interior looks very much like a racing car. Both the driver and a brave passenger are clamped into thin bucket seats (modelled on those you’d find in a DTM touring car, McLaren says) by six-point harnesses, made to measure for the driver and mounted directly to the carbon chassis.

The steering wheel’s more of a rectangle, modelled on Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 championship-winning Formula One car. That means the GTR’s drivers will have to get to grips with a dizzying array of switches and buttons, all of which are designed to be used while wearing racing gloves. Reminds us of the steering square in the Porsche 919 we investigated in detail recently, only thankfully slightly less complicated.

There is one nod to luxury: the air-con’s still there, ‘to maintain comfort during the much more physical driving experience.’

If you like carbonfibre, you’re in luck – there’s an awful lot of it in the GTR’s interior, with much of the carbon chassis (unchanged from the road car) on show. The entire structure weighs just 90kg and meets FIA GT racing rollover protection regs – good to know, as with race-spec Pirelli slicks as standard you’ll be going awfully quickly if you do visit any gravel traps.

What about the outside?

McLaren has also released exterior pictures of an uncamouflaged GTR pounding around the Sakhir F1 circuit in Bahrain, in a stealthy looking mix of black paintwork and bare carbon bodywork.

The pictures are from the ongoing hot-weather testing, aimed at working out how to keep the 3.8-litre V8 engine and electric motor cool and refining the aerodynamics. Aero will be a key part of the way the P1 GTR behaves on track, with that enormous rear wing including an F1-inspired DRS (drag reduction system) function to make the car more slippery in a straight line. Next stop is Europe for winter testing.

If I can’t use it on the road, where can I drive my McLaren P1 GTR?

If you shell out the reputed near-£2million asking price for a GTR a dedicated team from McLaren will run the car for you at six events through the year at various F1 circuits. That includes a personal driver coach and head engineer to go through the telemetry to help you shave vital tenths off your lap times.

You’ll also be enrolled in a tailored driver training programme, where McLaren says customers will go through similar steps to those taken by a fresh signing to their F1 team. They’ll practice driving the GTR virtually in the same simulator Jenson Button uses to do his homework in between Grands Prix and get one-on-one training to improve their mental and physical fitness.

All that remains is to practise saying ‘for sure’ and they’ll be a bona fide racing driver. Only without any other cars to race against, which does seem to be missing the point slightly. No matter, though: we can’t wait for the McLaren P1 GTR to land.

Read CAR’s McLaren P1 GTR preview here.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer