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McLaren 650S Sprint (2014): the gentleman racer’s Macca

Mon, 11 Aug 2014

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

11 August 2014 17:59

Visitors to the upmarket Pebble Beach festival this week will witness the world debut of a very special McLaren track-day special: the new 650S Sprint coupe.

The clue’s in the name: the Sprint is a track-only version of the 650S, designed for wealthier fans to go on track days and race at junior levels. It slots beneath the full-blown 650S GT3 racer – this is more a My First Track Day Special for wealthy owners after an amateur race-day weapon.

The Sprint’s 3.8-litre bi-turbo V8 is no more powerful than a roadgoing 650S’s, but this version is stripped out to cut weight and equipped with plenty of special tech to make it go faster and last longer on track.

The Brake Steer system, brakes and ProActive Chassis Control set-up are fettled to increase agility and response on closed circuits, while an aero package – including front splitter and optional huge carbonfibre rear wing pictured here – should keep it stuck to the track.

A motorsport fuel tank is fitted with quick-fill connectors, so you’ll be out of Silverstone’s pits in no time. And GT3-spec radiators help keep the V8 cooled during a track-day thrash, while you can spec Pirelli slick or wet tyres and an onboard air jack.

You’ll notice just how stripped out the Sprint is once you clamber past an FIA-approved rollcage latticework around the doors. You can spec a passenger seat with six-point harness if scaring others is your cup of tea, and if you’re serious about saving weight you can replace the glass window with a polycarbonate windscreen.

Here’s a clue to the 650S Sprint’s intent: the driver’s seat is based on a carbonfibre skeleton and comes with a Hans protection system – yet air-conditioning is retained to keep drivers cool. The Sprint is claimed to be as comfortable to drive as a roadgoing 650, underlying this car’s dual purpose.

The McLaren 650S Sprint will be shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance alongside the P1 GTR.

The cost of having a psychological head start at track days? That’ll be £198,000…

By Tim Pollard