Mercedes-AMG is doing it, so is Aston Martin, Lamborghini has also got in on the act and even Ferrari is teasing it has something planned. So it should come as little surprise that McLaren has joined the fight to build the world’s most spectacular track day hypercar.
Revealed at the Monterey Car Week in California, the McLaren Soltus GT is a very limited edition special, inspired by the brand’s virtual Vision GT concept for the Gran Turismo computer game. But it’s also the most extreme McLaren you can drive without being named Lando Norris or Daniel Ricciardo (or maybe Oscar Piastri).
It’s unlike any other McLaren in the range, meaning the twin-turbo V8 engine has been dropped and the styling is very different to what you’ll see on the Artura, 720S or any other McLaren production car.
The Soltus GT is powered by a 5.2-litre V10 engine (rumoured to be from former Formula 1 engineer builder, Judd) which makes 609kW of power, 648Nm of torque and revs to more than 10,000rpm.
It’s a single-seater with a closed cockpit and F1-inspired steering wheel. It tips the scales at less than 1000kg, so it’s almost as light as the 2022-spec F1 machinery.
McLaren CEO Michael Leiters said the idea of the Solus GT was to design a car free from any restrictions, pushing the company beyond its track-tuned versions of its road cars – such as the Senna GTR and P1 GTR – but clearly the market for such cars is lucrative too.
“The McLaren Solus GT is the realisation of a radical McLaren concept vehicle originally created for the world of virtual racing,” Leiters said. “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 epitomises our pioneering spirit.”
McLaren has announced it will only build 25 examples of the Solus GT, so anyone interested will need to call their local dealer sooner rather than later. It’s not clear how much money eventual owners will need to cough up, but it’s tipped to be as much as $5m. Fortunately for that price they’ll get a helmet, HANS device and racing suit included, plus driver coaching from McLaren’s test driver, Bruno Senna.