McLaren 720S GT3 goes on sale


So, McLaren Automotive, the firm's road car division - distinct from the racing bit - is launching a new racing car. And while that might sound a bit arse about face, the development of the new 7203S GT3 competition model by the Automotive half of the building actually makes perfect sense. Here’s a clue as to why: “ka-ching”.

You see, the 650S GT3 successor, due to make its debut in 2019, will not be operated directly by McLaren but sold to customer teams and wealthy clients throughout the world who are prepared to pay large sums of money not just to purchase the car - which starts at £440,000 - but also to maintain and support it throughout its racing life. Aside from providing McLaren with great international exposure, it opens a constant revenue stream – because, you know, motorsport is ruddy expensive.


Conforming to FIA GT3 regulations means the 720S racer will be eligible to compete in GT championships in a variety of locations, including illustrious 24-hour endurance events like the ones at Spa and the Nurburgring. McLaren is currently midway through an extensive testing programme to ensure its 720S GT3 is ready for these types of tough races, and so far, its prototypes have covered a combined 30,000km (18641 miles) on tracks both sides of the Atlantic - plenty of time to iron out creases and eliminate gremlins.

The job’s far from done, however, because this isn’t just some stripped-out 720S with a new decal kit – no, the 720S GT3 is 90% new. It shares a MonoCell II carbon fibre structure and twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with its road legal counterpar, but the rest is pure motorsport.


The GT3 model uses a six-speed sequential gearbox and an externally adjustable limited slip differential, for example, and the driveshafts and wheel hubs are different to enable faster change times. Then there are tougher brakes with enhanced cooling capabilities, new suspension using coilover springs and four-way adjustable dampers, as well as a built-in air-jacking system. Plus, new electronics allow the driver to adjust traction control and ABS assistance, and there’s an all-new aerodynamic pack that demonstrates how, when it comes to downforce, bigger is better. Oh, and there are Pirelli racing slicks or wets. So yeah, this is no ramped-up road car.

It joins the 570S GT4 among the division’s customer racing products, and can already point to significant success in GT racing - despite being comparatively new to the scene (compared with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, at any rate). The 720S GT3’s predecessor, the 650S GT3, has a win at the Bathurst 12 Hours and Blancpain Endurance Series titles to its name, while 570S GT4s were used to win eight titles and 50 races across the world in 2017.


P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (21) Join the discussion on the forum

  • spikyone 24 Aug 2018

    Feels rather like this article is treating us as idiots. Surely most readers understand what a GT3 car is, and this is no different in its purpose (a race car sold to, and operated by, privateer teams) nor the fact that it is a purpose built race car with little carry over from the road going version.

    Also, if 30,000km is 5,000km short of a 24-hour race distance then this car laps significantly faster than the 919 Evo. I make that 1,458km/h.

    I know bashing the standard of journalism here is something of a hobby for some, and yes, PH is free to access, but this is pretty poor.

  • thegreenhell 24 Aug 2018

    article said:
    its prototypes have covered a combined 30,000km (18641 miles) on tracks both sides of the Atlantic. That’s just 5000km short of a Nurburgring 24 Hours race distance...
    Maths fail?

    That would be a very long race. This year's winner managed 135 laps,

    135 x 25.378 = 3426km

  • mylesmcd 24 Aug 2018

    thegreenhell said:
    article said:
    its prototypes have covered a combined 30,000km (18641 miles) on tracks both sides of the Atlantic. That’s just 5000km short of a Nurburgring 24 Hours race distance...
    Maths fail?

    That would be a very long race. This year's winner managed 135 laps,

    135 x 25.378 = 3426km
    That had my calculator out too. 35k kms in 24 hours.

  • Krikkit 24 Aug 2018

    It also doesn't say anything about how many outings it took to do that test mileage - 10 cars which break down every hour would still rack it up fairly quickly...

  • thegreenhell 24 Aug 2018

    Cheaper and better-looking than the McSenna if you want a McLaren track toy.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment