The new McLaren Solus GT – virtual becomes reality
McLaren unveiled something really special during the 2022 edition of Monterey Car Week, they call it the Solus GT, but most of us probably will recognize the design from the famous Gran Turismo SPORT video game, as the futuristic-looking Vision GT concept you can drive virtually in this game is now the first of those Vision GT cars that can be driven in real life … but there is a catch, naturally. Only 25 will be made, and even at £2,750,000 each, they are all sold out already, but that’s not the entire story on the McLaren Solus GT, this the single-seat, closed-cockpit car is track-only, you can’t drive it on the open road.
Power comes from a massive 5.2-liter V10 naturally aspirated engine, with just 2,205lbs in weight and aerodynamic performance delivering a downforce in excess of 2,645lbs, the Solus GT could theoretically drive upside down, this all-new V10 engine can reach revs of over 10,000 rpm and put down 829bhp and 479lb-ft of torque, it should come as no surprise the acceleration figure of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is set at 2.5 seconds, with a top speed well over the 200 mph mark.
“The McLaren Solus GT is the realization of a radical McLaren concept vehicle originally created for the world of virtual racing. Engineered free of any restrictions from road or race regulations, but with the full spectrum of McLaren’s expertise to bring it to reality, it epitomizes our pioneering spirit.” Michael Leiters, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive
Being a single-seater, the Solus GT comes with a sliding canopy above the single, central seat, while the wheels are shrouded in aerodynamic pods and located by suspension arms, the large front splitter feeds air into ground-effect tunnels before it exits the car via a full diffuser while a motorsport-inspired intake above the cockpit integrated into the design of the roll hoop cover feeds cold air into the engine, while also providing an engaging induction sound.
The two-part, fixed rear wing is key to a downforce figure that exceeds the overall weight of the car. The downforce to drag ratio is also optimized, aiding straight-line performance as well as enhancing cornering abilities.
The steering wheel – the design of which is unique among McLaren production cars – takes its inspiration from Formula 1, with a dash display and essential controls integrated to suit the tight confines of a single-seater track car, but it’s the view of the driver through the glass ‘bubble’, with integrated halo-style cockpit protection that really impresses with a perfectly symmetrical 180-degree line of sight provided by the central driving position, seeing the two dramatically styled wheel pods help the ‘pilot’ to position the car on a track where he, or she, wants to.
The McLaren Solus GT comes with a track-derived seven-speed sequential gearbox fitted to the back of the engine with the rear suspension fixed to the casing, the internals come with straight-cut gears engaged via a multi-plate carbon fiber clutch for aggressive gear shifts, but the entire system is fully automated and software controlled, removing the need for the driver to operate the clutch, aiding pit-lane pull-away, it is safe to say this car will drive totally different from a regular road car, therefore McLaren MSO offers clients the option to drive the Solus GT prototype and allow them to comment the experience so the 25 production cars are even better, the first customer can expect to receive his unique McLaren Solus GT in 2023 already, each one will come with a bespoke flight case including a comprehensive set of tool, jacks, stands, radios, and a coolant pre-heater … ready for track activities by the owner.
Check out the videos below for more information about this extremely rare McLaren Solus GT, a virtual hypercar turned reality for 25 fortunate clients, first up a video from Top Gear in which they actually drive the prototype on the track:
Tim, aka Shmee150 on the $4 million McLaren Solus GT unveiling at Monterey
As could be expected, Manny Khoshbin has one of the McLaren Solus GT on order: