The McLaren Solus GT is a ‘Gran Turismo’ racecar brought to life

by Ollie Marriage | Aug 23, 2022
McLaren Solus GT
PHOTO: McLaren

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 hybridized 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 (P165 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.

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McLaren Solus GT

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

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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-liter 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.

McLaren Solus GT

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McLaren Solus GT

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.

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Zero to 100kph is estimated at 2.5sec, and top speed at over 322kph. 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.

More photos of the McLaren Solus GT:

McLaren Solus GT

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McLaren Solus GT

McLaren Solus GT

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McLaren Solus GT

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: McLaren
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