One of the age old questions faced by supercar manufactures has been how to strike that key balance between on-road driving comfort and all-out racing prowess. The rapier versus the bludgeon. When it comes to McLaren it would be grossly unfair to label such wonders of modern engineering such as the 12C GT3 and 12C GT Can-Am editions as mere bludgeons, however, essentially they are designed to be no more than podium poaching, champagne swigging, track gobbling monsters.
The latest edition to the 12C family is about a little bit more than that. Named the 12C GT Sprint, it should be noted that McLaren’s newest offering is still a track-only racer. However, the British company say that it is intended to bridge the gap between the road legal 12C and its all-out racing GT3 and GT Can-Am Edition siblings. It retains much of the tried and tested formula debuted on the road going variant, including the scintillating 616bhp 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 engine and seven speed twin clutch gearbox all housed within the now trademark lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell chassis.
The GT Sprint’s track credentials are underlined by a whole host of race-focused tweaks. For example, it features three unique handling settings affecting damping and ride stiffness, a tuned and recalibrated suspension package tailored to the car’s 40mm lower ride height, track-focused brakes and an on-board air jacking system for slicker tyre changes. The front grill, bumper and bonnet with radiator exit ducts are all directly derived from the 12C GT3 racer and inside the cabin the GT Sprint comes complete with rollcage and integrated fire extinguisher system. That said, a balance has been struck with comfort in mind, as the GT Sprint retains a lightweight version of the 12C’s air-conditioning system.
Further bespoke toys are available, such as a polycarbonate windscreen and carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, but the base price for the 12C GT Sprint will be somewhere in the region of £200,000. The very first batch will break cover later this year with 20 models up for grabs.