Since 2016, the McLaren 570S GT4 has notched up wins across the globe in sportscar racing. It’s formed the backbone of the Pure McLaren GT Series, too. This is the car that has the tough job of replacing it in international motorsport, the Artura GT4.
As with the road car, the racing Artura brings some useful advances over its Sports Series predecessor. Built from the new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture, McLaren says this car is more than 100kg lighter than the equivalent 570S. Moreover, the V6 is claimed to be lighter and more responsive than the M838T V8 that went before; add in shorter gear ratios and a mechanical limited slip diff (replacing the old brake-based assistance) and the Artura seems to have all the bases covered in terms of it being an even more competitive racer. Especially when you factor in improvements made to the damping and brake cooling efficiency.
Then it gets really interesting. Because where the road car is a hybrid - a 7.4kWh battery providing 95hp and 19 miles of range - the rules don’t currently permit hybridised cars. So this GT4, like racing versions of the recent Honda NSX, does without batteries or motors, meaning you get unadulterated V6 twin-turbo power. In the road car that produces 585hp, though output for this Artura will obviously be dependent on Balance of Performance rules. Interestingly, too, the GT4 carries a seven-speed gearbox (with shorter ratios than the 570S) rather than the road car’s eight-speed; the production version uses the electric motor to reverse but current sportscar regs stipulate a reverse gear must be fitted.
Elsewhere, the modifications are as expected for a GT4 racer. The brakes and traction control are now motorsport-specific, the fuel tank is an enormous 110 litres and bodywork revisions mean panels can be switched easily should damage occur - the rear uses a ‘G-Pylon’ spoiler design that means the rear can be removed without dismantling the spoiler should it get too heavily biffed. The aerodynamic overhaul - see the rear wing with seven angle settings, front splitter, dive planes and bonnet duct - is said to provide additional downforce compared to the 570S, particularly at the front end.
The Artura also deploys a wider front tyre, which should further help both grip and tyre degradation. Inside, the steering wheel is borrowed from the 720S GT3, and the Artura has been designed with endurance racing in mind as well: options include extra lights for night racing and a drinks system. If there’s a GT4 race going on anywhere in the world, the Artura should be eligible.
McLaren’s Director of Motorsport Ian Morgan said of the new car: “With lighter weight, extremely precise handling characteristics and enhanced durability – as well as the packaging and efficiency advantages and all-round serviceability for mechanics of the new V6 powertrain – the Artura GT4 will set new class standards, as we are already seeing from our extensive test and development programme.” All of which will sound like very good news to those that have tasted success in the 570S. And rather less encouraging for those rivals that will face the Artura on track come 2023…
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