There’s something a little wonky about calling a supercar like the McLaren 570S entry-level, but that’s indeed where it stands in McLaren’s most accessible Sports Series. The racing world is about to get a taste of this newest entry with the McLaren 570S GT4, a track-only edition which will undergo a season-long development program in the GT4-spec British GT championship. Alongside the 570S GT4, McLaren also announced the 570S Sprint, an unrestricted trackday special.
As with the roadgoing McLaren 570S, a big part of the 570S GT4’s mission is to bring the McLaren brand to a wider audience as the young company continues its planned expansion. This move is essentially a parallel to the previous McLaren 650S GT3 from the company’s higher-grade Super Series. “The 570S GT4 marks a key developent of McLaren as a player in the motorsport world, opening the opportunity to race up to a mich broader skill level of driver,” said McLaren’s racing divison (CRS GT Limited) managing director Andrew Kirkaldy, in a statement.
In the world of gentleman racing drivers, McLaren clearly sees the importance of making the cars be capable, competitive, and drivable, so owners have themselves a good time yet keep the shiny side up. Data collected from these endeavors can have a major impact on road-car development as well, as engineers across the automaker spectrum have used racing as a laboratory for supercar development.
As you’d expect of a GT4-spec race car, the McLaren 570S GT4 sports a laundry list of aerodynamic, safety, and lightweighting upgrades compared to the standard supercar. To start, the track is wider in the front and rear to make space for the center-locking cast-magnesium wheels and beefy Pirelli racing slicks (245 up front and 305 in the rear). A conventional suspension remains for the 570S, unlike the advanced active suspension used on the 650S, this time with two-way adjustable motorsport dampers and coilovers. The 570S GT4 uses carbon fiber and aluminum for the slightly revised body, as well as aluminum pylons on the rear end to support the massive rear wing. Other major aero upgrades include a larger front splitter and re-profiled floor assembly. For extra cooling, McLaren added a high-temp radiator that vents using two new ducts in the hood.
The McLaren 570S GT4 is confirmed for Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse in the British GT series this season. Lessons learned from the live and public development will be sure to inform work on the 570S Sprint, which can also be upgraded to GT4-spec if desired. More details on the Sprint are forthcoming in the next few weeks, but pricing for the 570S GT4 will start at £159,900 ($226,370).