McLaren Motorsport launched its new racing car, the Artura GT4, at the Goodwood Festival. Based on the new luxury supercar McLaren Artura, the Artura GT4 will be tasked with replicating the same success of the 570S GT4 and 720S GT3 racing models championship and multi-race winners.
The new Artura GT4 shares much of its technology with the new McLaren Artura road car. Debuts with the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture with a carbon fiber monocoque in the center. This racing inspired design and chassis construction is the ideal platform for a racing car. In fact, a rigid frame allows for a wider configuration for the rider, as well as providing an extremely safe driving environment.
Weight minimization is a key element of Artura, and this philosophy continues in racing cars. With a compact V6 engine and accessories such as the lightweight exhaust system, the new Artura GT4 weighs over 100 kg less than the 570S GT4.
The V6 biturbo takes care of the power (without hybridization)
The “street” Artura has a hybrid engine that relies on the completely new compact V6 biturbo, combined with an axial flux electric motor located in the transmission. In the Artura GT4, the V6 engine alone generates more than enough power to meet the GT4 class requirements, whose regulations do not allow hybrid powertrains. The lack of hybrid components allows for a weight saving of 130 kg in an already extremely light car. In the racing car, the space inside the carbon monocoque (intended for the hybrid battery of road cars) houses the fuel cell and the auxiliary propulsion system.
The new V6 engine features two fast-response turbochargers located within the “V” of the engine. The unit is designed to offer, even without electrification, better throttle response and fuel economy than the older M838 V8 used in the 570S GT4.
Significantly lighter and smaller than the old V8, the new V6 engine further improves the power-to-weight ratio, lowers the car’s center of gravity and improves weight distribution. The V6 engine is controlled by an ECU Bosch Motorsport to regulate the management of the BoP (Balance of Performance) essential to compete in the GT4 category. The Artura GT4 also features modular motorsport harness for ease of maintenance, reducing repair time and costs.
Power is delivered via a seven-speed gearbox with an improved set of improved ratios for greater performance. The drive system has built-in diagnostic software. It deals with of a unit other than that used in the road opening, in as the GT4 regulation requires the car to have reverse gear. In the street model, the eight-speed seamless gearbox does not have reverse gear. This maneuver is therefore only possible by reversing the electric motor.
Artura carries McLaren’s design principles of “all for a reason” and therefore boasts high aerodynamic efficiency. The GT4 iteration is extended with an aero package that offers more downforce than the 570S GT4. This in particular in the front, which features custom splitters, dip planes and hood duct. At the rear, a highly efficient wing incorporates seven angle settings to cover a wide range of circuits.
Thinking about the pilots
Track excellence is an important part of the GT4 equation, but the Artura GT4 is designed to compete in a category governed by BoP technical regulations. These aim to “match” a wide range of supercars and GTs with different chassis layouts, power and weight. Much attention has therefore been paid to the accessibility and safety of the Artura GT4, both for the drivers and for the teams.
McLaren Automotive street and race car drivers have always enjoyed excellent visibility both in getting the car to the track and in the intensity of wheel-to-wheel racing. In this sense, the Artura GT4 represents an evolution compared to the 570S GT4. Cockpit entry and exit is also better, which is important for quick driver changes in the middle of the race. The safety levels are equal to those of the 720S GT3, including 8862 FIA spec fixed driver’s seat, pedal and steering wheel adjustable in distance. There are also illuminated buttons for racing in all conditions, day and night. The cockpit also features a new Bosch DDU instrument display, with improved graphics.
Suspension and handling are improved over the 570S GT4 with increased front wheel width. This allows for greater grip and less tire degradation, developed in collaboration with tire partner Pirelli. At the rear, a mechanical limited-slip differential offers more grip and performance with the benefit of less rear brake wear. Damping has also been improved, as has the cooling efficiency of the brakes. Rider aids include race-specific anti-lock braking and traction control, which can be adjusted for various grip conditions.
The Artura GT4 is also built with race-specific components to improve performance, durability and ease of maintenance. All of these components have undergone rigorous evaluation to ensure longer life.
Maintenance improvements include a removable hood for easy access, a 110 liter fuel cell with two lift pumps for racing. Added to this is a main pump for greater reliability and performance. The rear wing is mounted to the frame using a new “G-Pylon” design, which means it can be removed without having to disassemble the entire wing. The low-temperature radiators have been moved inwards, while the exhaust system is now mounted only on the engine; the sound volume reaches 105 dB.
McLaren Artura GT4, many options available
Buyers of the Aura GT4 will have a comprehensive list of options to support a variety of race and track environments. These include the installation of seat and safety belts for passengers. Both seats can be specified in a variety of sizes.
Additional rider aids available for purchase include a tire pressure monitoring system, V-Box telemetry, collision avoidance system radar. There is also a data package with laser height sensors, damper potentiometers and infrared brake sensors. Long distance running options include additional lights for night sessions. And there is also a system for drinks.