Two months after PH broke news of its forthcoming introduction to the world, McLaren has officially confirmed production of 350 620Rs, bridging the gap between its roadgoing Sports Series line-up and the current GT4 racer. As predicted, the track-focussed machine will inherit much of its chassis hardware from the competition machine but, with no motorsport restrictors to worry about, its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 is free to output 620hp and 457lb ft of torque - which, in a car that weighs 1,282kg dry, amounts to a lot of performance.
Consider: 62mph arrives in (a 720S-matching) 2.9 seconds, 124mph comes along at 8.1 and top speed is 200mph. It’s officially the fastest Sports Series car yet. And the straight-line stuff isn’t even the 620R’s party piece; as scooped by PH, the car’s chassis and suspension componentry is what really sets it apart from the field. The crossover between racing car and road machine is significant, to the extent that - tyres and number plates aside - the two appear damn near identical.
At its core is McLaren’s familiar MonoCell II monocoque, with aluminium front and rear crash structures. But practically everything else around it has been tuned up to track specification. Just like in the GT4, you get two-way manually adjustable coilovers, with 32 clicks of adjustment for the damping rates - and the hardware changes the suspension lighter than the road version, contributing a 6kg saving from the total. It also means the setup can absorb the higher lateral loading of slick tyres without further adjustment.
The weight saving is continued in the wishbones and uprights, which are made of aluminium, while the anti-roll bars provide additional resistance. The suspension struts themselves are now bolted to solid stainless steel top mounts in place of rubber ones, improving steering response and feedback through the rack, while the M838TE engine is held in place with its own firmer mounts, organically reducing inertia under load. Additionally, McLaren’s F1-derived Inertia Push technology, which uses kinetic energy stored in the flywheel, provides extra torque.
Stopping is courtesy of 390mm front and 380mm rear carbon ceramics discs that work with forged aluminium calipers – which, tellingly, have been engineered with a focus on providing optimum feel and performance when they’re subjected to track work. Hammering the car’s circuit honing home is the optional fitment of proper slick rubber, which extends the contact patch by eight per cent over the standard-fit (and still bloody sticky) Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R road boots. They come wrapped around 19- and 20-inch wheels, capable of working with both the treaded and untreaded rubber.
On top of the no doubt immense mechanical grip will be an enhanced aerodynamic package that includes an adjustable carbon fibre rear wing identical to the GT4’s (barring the fitment of a brake light) to produce up to 185kg of downforce. While a large front splitter and dive planes combine to add up to 65kg of downforce over the nose. The 600LT, by comparison, produces no more than 100kg combined with its body pieces.
In short - and as you might expect - this is pretty much as close as you’ll be able to get to a GT4 racing car for the road. As such, the cabin is pared-back to the essentials, with the carbon bucket seat and six-point harnesses, racing wheel and extended shift paddles all inspired by the motorsport model. McLaren also fits its track telemetry system as part of a centre-mounted, seven-inch touchscreen. What you don’t get are sat nav, floor carpets or a glovebox, nor is there air con or a sound system. Although you can have the first three refitted as no cost options, while you’re required to hand over extra cash for a lightweight Bowers and Wilkins audio system.
Naturally, there are a raft of colour and trim customisations on offer, although only three exterior colours are offered as standard: McLaren Orange with white stripes, Silica White with orange stripes or Onyx Black with orange stripes. Numbers can be fitted too for the full race effect, while a Senna GTR-mimicking decal livery is also on offer. Suffice it to say we’re expecting most of the 350 620Rs to get their own, unique look – including that lucky PHer who passed on news of the model’s arrival back in October. Orders are being taken now, with prices starting at £250,000. For those fortunate enough to get their hands on one, production starts next month.
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