Relatively speaking, it’s easy to make a car do just about anything in video game format. Recreating that machine in the real world involves a lot more nitty-gritty work. McLaren committed to the nitty-gritty, creating a real-life version of a machine we first saw in the racing game Gran Turismo Sport. This is the McLaren Solus GT, a track-only machine with a fighter-jet cockpit and a naturally aspirated V10 engine that will rev to 10,000 rpm.
The Solus GT is all business. With a layout not unlike a late-1990s Formula 1 car (single center seat ahead of a V10 engine), the new McLaren is very clearly built for ultimate track dominance. But the Solus GT goes beyond the current race car state of the art: we’ve never seen a competition machine with a fighter jet canopy.
Powering this beast is a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine making 829 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, connected to a 7-speed sequential transmission. McLaren says the Solus GT should do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed beyond 200 mph.
But this is not simply an acceleration machine. The Solus GT, which McLaren says will weigh “less than 2,205 pounds,” will generate downforce in excess of 2,645 pounds. That means, at full speed, the Solus GT could drive upside-down on the ceiling of a tunnel. More importantly, it means this thing is all about dominating the race track.
And that extends to what you’ll get with your Solus GT. Each car will include a driver’s seat molded to the owner’s body (the same way that Formula 1 teams make a custom-molded seat for each of their drivers), an FIA-certified racing suit, a custom helmet and HANS device, and McLaren driver coaching and instruction. Basically, the full racing experience.
Except for the actual racing part. “The McLaren Solus GT is the realization of a radical McLaren concept vehicle originally created for the world of virtual racing,” said McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters in a press release. “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.” So while the Solus GT is built to dominate any race track it tackles, sadly, it’s probably not eligible for your local AER events.
No matter: Unless you’ve already got your order in, you won’t be able to buy a Solus GT. McLaren has committed to build a mere 25 examples, all of which were sold long before the car made its debut today at Monterey Car Week. Deliveries will begin in 2023. If you’re one of the lucky 25 to receive one, please don’t let it languish inside a garage. Run the thing the way it was meant to be run.