Supercars

Vision GT comes to life as spectacular run of 25 840bhp SuperMacs

this is the v10-engined £2.5m mclaren solus gt, a real-life gran turismo racer
this is the v10-engined £2.5m mclaren solus gt, a real-life gran turismo racer
this is the v10-engined £2.5m mclaren solus gt, a real-life gran turismo racer

Five years ago, about the time Mercedes and Aston Martin were midway through development of their track-focused hypercars, McLaren designed a no-limits Vision racer for Gran Turismo. It had well over 1,100 horsepower from a hybridised twin turbo V8 with an electric motor for each front wheel. It also had a lie-on-your-tummy driving position. But we’ve seen these Vision GT cars before. Bar the occasional full scale model or rough running prototype, they never go anywhere.

Until now. Because this is the Solus GT. The first VGT car to become a reality. McLaren will be building 25 of them, priced at over £2.5 million each. Considerably more than the million credits they cost in the game. And it doesn’t even have the sunny-side-down driving position.

And that’s not all that hasn’t made the leap to real life. The familiar twin turbo V8 has been ditched. In favour of a naturally aspirated V10 that revs past 10,000rpm and develops 840bhp. This is good news, even if it’s not boosted by an electric motor for each front wheel.

Visually, McLaren has been faithful to the game car, but technically what you’re looking at here is more aligned with a Le Mans prototype. The 5.2-litre engine (it’ll need to be pre-warmed for an hour before driving) is used in different configurations for LMP2, and the Solus GT’s architecture is pure racer. The engine is a stressed member, the suspension is mounted off the seven-speed sequential gearbox, which is operated via a multi-plate carbon clutch and features straight cut gears.

Obviously it’s not road legal. But outside of F1 it will be the fastest McLaren ever around a track, quicker than a 720S GT3X, Senna GTR or P1 GTR. Unlike them it doesn’t use the familiar road car carbon tub, but a bespoke monocoque created especially for the project. All up it weighs well under 1,000kg and develops 1,200kg of downforce. There’s no active aero, just a socking great wing, front splitter and huge underbody tunnels.

The fighter jet-style canopy slides forward to access the cabin, which features a button-laden steering wheel and almost nothing else. There’s a halo-style central spar, and head protection to either side. The seat is fixed, the pedals slide, a full fit is obviously part of the package. Top Gear has had exclusive early access to the car – you’ll see more on that soon – and can confirm the full surround view makes it amazing to sit in, and the noise from the nat asp V10… it’s just wild.

0-62mph is estimated at 2.5secs and top speed over 200mph. No word on lap times yet, but it should give a Valkyrie a run for its money. In more ways than one. Deliveries of finished cars are due next spring.

Keyword: This is the V10-engined £2.5m McLaren Solus GT, a real-life Gran Turismo racer

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