The British carmaker says the GT3’s tweaked aerodynamics and lightweight construction more than compensate for the loss in output. The eight-cylinder engine is linked to a six-speed sequential gearbox, which is 80 kg lighter than the road car's 7-speed box. In addition, the GT3 gets a race-spec suspension setup and improved aerodynamics. The MP4-12C GT3 was first tested in the F1 team's McLaren Simulator, with the car also benefiting from the brand’s Formula 1 expertise in many other aspects.
“The 12C GT3 will be supplied with the 12C’s carbon MonoCell and the same steering wheel design employed by Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car,” said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO McLaren Group.
“Plus, we are working closely with Formula 1 suppliers past and present: Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin for example. This blend of road car and Formula 1 technology and experience will be a great advantage to anyone racing a 12C GT3 in 2012,” he added.
This year will be a development season for the MP4-12C GT3 with McLaren planning to debut the new car at the Blancpain Endurance Series race at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain, followed by Magny-Cours and Silverstone. The company also intends to enter the 24 Hours of Spa endurance race and to make an appearance at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
McLaren's development team drivers are Andrew Kirkaldy, Oliver Turvey and Alvaro Parente. This year McLaren GT will produce 20 cars, which will be raced by customer teams in 2012. Scroll down to learn more about the car and to see it in action alongside its road-going brethren.
By Dan Mihalascu