McLaren's double trouble: 650S Sprint & P1 GTR unveiled

August 21, 2014
You know what they say: two heads are better than one. Now take the word 'heads' and replace it with 'track-only, massively fast, mind-boggling supercars.' Granted, it's not as catchy. But for McLaren, they are words to soothe the soul. We knew the P1 GTR was coming - we spoke about it here - so as much as we aren't surprised we are still as excited as a fat kid in a cake shop. But hot on the heels of the 650S coupe and the announcement of the MSO 650S, the 650S Sprint is a genuine surprise - although if we had thought about it logically, it was predictable. After all, the 12C had a Sprint version made, as we found out when we raced it against a Ferrari 458 Challenge at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit. Both super hypercars were unveiled last weekend at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance - an extremely high-end car meet held on the famous final two holes of Pebble Beach golf course in California, US. Although it may cost AED 1.2 million, the 650S Sprint doesn't come with a new engine; the road version's 3.8-litre twin-turbo still resides beneath the bonnet. But with a more developed brake system, refined aerodynamics, increased levels of downforce, greater chassis control and some serious weight stripping, you can expect this car to dominate others in its class with typical McLaren grace. Plus, it looks fantastic, as you can see below. [gallery link="none" ids="7116,7114,7115,7120,7119,7118,7117"] The British manufacturer has billed the P1 GTR as 'the vehicle for the world's most exclusive drivers' club'. Normally, we'd find a way to disagree with such obvious marketing syrup, but when you look at the facts - and the P1 GTR really is all about the facts - it's hard to disagree. Increased power to 986 horsepower; a more aggressive front splitter; slick tyres; a fixed ride height; F1-inspired DRS from the huge rear wing; a push-to-pass boost button...we could go on. There are notable changes from the P1 that suggest that, unlike the 650S Sprint - which is pretty much an improved and streamlined version of the existing 650S - there have been genuine upheavals to make the GTR something more than just 'a faster version'. The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the carbon fibre chassis and is designed to channel the air from around the front wheels. An aerodynamic blade is located behind the wheelarch to clean the air from the front tyres which is then directed to flow along the bottom edge of the doors, along the flank of the carbon fibre bodywork, to an additional side panel at the rear which ducts additional air into the high temperature radiator and improves the aerodynamic performance of the rear floor. This isn't motoring; it's rocket science. It's also the attention to the most minisucle of details that makes the P1 GTR incredibly special. For example, McLaren has re-profiled the low temperature radiator ducts so that they flow into the leading edge of the flared front wheel arches. They're improving the car with aesthetic changes to its radiator ducts. At the end of the day however, the few owners of the P1 GTR may care for none of that. They may just love how it looks. And so do we. [gallery link="none" ids="7123,7124,7121,7125,7122"]