McLaren has announced the 620R, which it claims is “the first car in its class to offer true motorsport credentials in a fully road-legal package”.
The limited-edition coupé – just 350 will be built – evolves the competition specification of the McLaren 570S.
Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer at McLaren Automotive says: “In response to repeated customer requests, we have homologated that class-leading package for the road in the new McLaren 620R, a limited-edition, 620PS superlight coupé that is the perfect choice for an enthusiast wanting an authentic motorsport driving sensation – and performance to match – on both track and road.”
McLaren has enjoyed significant GT race success with Customer Racing teams and in recent seasons the 570S GT4 has been instrumental in adding to that record of success. Since the customer debut in 2017, the car has become the most successful GT race car built by McLaren, achieving more race wins and podiums than any other to date. Now, as the ultimate track-focused, track-ready but roadgoing McLaren Sports Series model, the 620R – a car that’s destined to be both rare and collectable, thanks to its strictly limited production run – celebrates the achievements of the 570S GT4.
The makers explain that “a high level of commonality with a 570S GT4 race car has been integral to the development of the 620R from very outset”.
They have the same, single-piece carbon fibre Monocell II chassis providing the foundations for the strength and light weight of the car, with a targeted lightest dry weight of 1,282kg. This carbon fibre core – a McLaren signature that in different guises features in every car in the company’s range – also underpins the ‘dynamic precision and composure for which McLarens are renowned’. These characteristics have been enhanced in the 620R by the inclusion of the GT4’s adjustable aerodynamic elements, race-derived suspension components and powertrain recalibration to increase power and performance.
The 620R has the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine used in the GT4 car, but with a significant difference in power output; freedom from racing regulations has allowed the engine ECU and turbocharger management to be reconfigured to achieve 620PS (610bhp), making this the most powerful Sports Series car yet. The engine also develops torque of 620Nm (457lb ft) and performance figures are 0-100km/h (62mph) in 2.9 seconds and 0-200km/h (124mph) in 8.1 seconds. Maximum speed is 322km/h (200mph).
The 7-speed Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) delivers super-fast shift times, further aided in Track mode by McLaren’s Inertia Push technology, which converts built-up flywheel energy into a momentary burst of torque on upshift. For added drama on the road the driver can select Sport mode and hear the upshift ‘crack’ created by a split-second cut of the ignition spark during a gearshift.
The suspension features lightweight aluminium wishbones and uprights and stiffer anti-roll bars and springs than fitted on a regular Sports Series model, and is enhanced by swapping rubber top mounts for solid stainless steel alternatives to provide ‘noticeable improvements’ in steering control and feedback.
Stopping power comes from McLaren’s latest lightweight braking system, which in the track-focused set-up on the 620R comprises carbon ceramic discs (390mm front, 380mm rear) and forged aluminium brake calipers all round.
The braking performance is also impressive on the road, where the 620R runs as standard with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres, but drivers who swap to the optional, full-slick motorsport tyres when they arrive on circuit will apparently experience “a whole new level of braking”.
McLaren says “the performance, feel, feedback and handling characteristics of the 620R will leave a driver in no doubt that it is a race car at heart, but there are other obvious clues that are apparent before the engine is even started. The interior clearly and immediately stands out as track-inspired – any GT4 race driver will feel instantly at home”.
As with any serious circuit car, it is as much about what has been stripped out as what has been included – the 620R does not have a carpet or a glovebox. Air-conditioning, IRIS Navigation and an audio system are also missing from the standard specification, although all can be selected at no additional cost.
Driver and passenger are secured in super-lightweight carbon fibre racing seats by six-point racing harnesses, fitted as standard.
A McLaren Track Telemetry (MTT) system is standard and is displayed on a centre-mounted 7-inch touchscreen.
620R production will be limited to just 350 cars, all hand-built at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey.
Production will begin in January, with each car costing from £250,000 including taxes (UK); for buyers in Europe and the USA, the price includes a Pure McLaren Track Day, with expert driving tuition at a race circuit.