The car, which goes on sale in late 2015, will appear in production ready form at the show in March
The car, which goes on sale in late 2015, will appear in production ready form at the show in March. It is based on the regular McLaren P1 but with a host of weight-saving and track optimisation measures which give it a 10% power-to-weight ratio advantage over the standard car.
Some technical details of the new car have already been revealed. The cockpit has been stripped out, with a greater focus on driver engagement and weight saving, albeit without compromising comfort or safety.
A new steering wheel based on the item used in the MP4-23, McLaren's 2008 Formula 1 car, is exclusive to the P1 GTR, which was first revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August.
Key controls are located to the centre of the wheel, allowing the driver to fully adjust the set-up and characteristics of the car without having to take their hands from the wheel. The DRS and IPAS buttons for the Drag Reduction System (DRS) and Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) are retained on the steering wheel.
McLaren says it has configured the controls so they can be comfortably operated when the driver is wearing a full race suit, helmet and gloves.
The cabin is equipped with lightweight carbonfibre seats similar to those used in DTM touring cars and full six-point motorsport harnesses. These will be set up for each P1 GTR owner, and mounted directly to the chassis, reducing weight by having no additional mounting brackets. The seats are compatible with a Head and Neck Safety (HANS) device.
Unlike some stripped-out track cars, the air-con system is retained in the P1 GTR to maintain comfort during track driving.
The carbonfibre MonoCage chassis is carried over from the road car, and weighs 90kg including the upper and lower structures, roof snorkel, engine air intake cavity, battery and power electronics housing.
The development programme for the car has focused on testing the capabilities of the upgraded powertrain, optimising the balance and handling characteristics on the car's Pirelli slick tyres, and working through aerodynamic developments including the fixed-height rear wing.
Company officials reported: "All tests were completed with results meeting or, in many cases exceeding, the stringent targets set. The McLaren P1 GTR development continues its rapid progress, with further mileage scheduled over the winter throughout Europe".
McLaren has now switched the focus of its testing with the P1 GTR to extremely hot conditions, taking its latest development prototype to the Bahrain International Circuit.
The British company has also revealed more details of its P1 GTR Driver Programme, which will teach owners how to get the best out of the car.
P1 GTR owners will gain access to areas of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking that are off-limits to the public, including the company's racing simulator.
Paul Mackenzie, McLaren P1 GTR Programme Director, said: "Before they get out on track, each driver will join us at the MTC and have unprecedented access to the cutting edge facilities.
"This will enable drivers to build up a greater understanding of the car_s capabilities and true performance, as well as learning the braking and turn-in points before they arrive at the circuit. It also allows them to analyse and discuss their performance ahead of testing themselves in the real world situation, so they are fully prepared when they take to the track.
"It is a programme that has been developed over the years for our Formula 1__ and our young drivers. It_s not just about fitness, but also about mental preparation, and looks at the full wellbeing of the driver, and prepares them mentally and physically for the activities they will experience on track."
McLaren P1 GTR owners will take part in six track events during the first year of the Driver Programme. The events will take place at "iconic racing Formula 1 circuits across the world".
At each event, drivers will have a dedicated race team responsible for running the car. This will include a personal driver coach and head engineer, who will work through telemetry and video analysis to hone skills, and optimise lap times.
The car, announced at the Pebble Beach Concours d_Elegance, will go on sale in just under 12 months after production of the standard P1 ends. It will only be offered to the existing 375 P1 owners and will cost __1.98 million.
Auto Car | by Matt Burt