Preview: McLaren GT 650S Sprint

By Winding Road Staff

August 11, 2014

McLaren GT has taken the wraps off their latest track dedicated creation ahead of its official debut later this month at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 650S Sprint, which replaces the outgoing 12C Sprint, will slot above the standard road-going 650S and below the 650S GT3. While the 650S Sprint is a track only vehicle, it's also not homologated for any particular race series, which makes the Sprint more of a track day tool rather than a competition-focused racer.
The 641 horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the standard 650S remains unchanged, but software calibration for the motor and the seven speed dual clutch gearbox have been retooled for track duty.
Downforce has been increased by way a revised aero kit that should help boost the 650S Sprint's high speed stability, while a larger GT3-developed front radiator and retooled heat extractors have been fitted to keep things cool during lap sessions.
Since the 650S Sprint will be a dedicated track car, the Sprint also gets a retuned suspension system, a competition spec fuel tank, uprated brakes, a fire suppression system, an on-board air jack system, an FIA-approve roll cage, HANS-compatible racing seats and six-point racing harnesses. The 650S Sprint will also ride on 19-inch center-lock wheels that are wrapped in Pirelli race slicks. Perhaps as an admission of its non-competition design, the car will also retain the air conditioning system from the standard 650S. Given that McLaren likely expects many 650S Sprint customers to hail from the Middle East, it may be well worth the weight penalty for those buyers.
The 650S Sprint will be priced at £198,000, or about $330,000, and will be available through all McLaren dealers worldwide, though the exact timing of when you'll be able to put a 650S Sprint on your race trailer has yet to be announced. Check out the press release below for additional details on the McLaren GT 650S Sprint.
McLaren GT has today confirmed that it will premiere its latest model at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, with the wraps set to come off the track-only 650S Sprint. The stripped-out racer will make its global debut alongside a number of other models from McLaren Automotive, and completes the brand's display with four global debuts planned for the Californian event, including the McLaren P1™ GTR.
Based on the recently launched McLaren 650S Coupe, the track-focused 650S Sprint is fitted with developments to the Brake Steer system, even more refined active aerodynamics and a race set-up for the ProActive Chassis Control (PCC). These upgrades deliver a more engaging GT racing experience, without losing any of the refinement and balance found in the road car.
As with the 650S, the aerodynamically optimised design of the 650S Sprint offers increased levels of downforce, and the revised air intakes carried across from the road car allow for optimised cooling of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T engine. In the 650S Sprint, the proven powerplant is retained from the 650S roadcar, with a unique engine and transmission calibration to further enhance on-track drivability and driver engagement.
The cabin is fully track-focused and stripped out to minimise weight, but with no compromise to driver safety or comfort. Built around the lightweight and inherently strong carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, the interior also features an FIA-approved rollcage to further cocoon the driver. A lightweight carbon fibre HANS-approved racing seat, with full six-point harness, offers an optimised driving position, while an air-conditioning system is retained adding comfort. An integrated fire extinguisher system is also installed.
McLaren GT recently announced the 650S GT3 race car, which will be seen on the grid from next season, and the 650S Sprint shares a number of design features with its bigger brother. A larger motorsport fuel 'bag' tank with quick-fill connectors is added, as is optimised cooling through the larger GT3-developed front radiator with a GT3-inspired bonnet integrating radiator exit ducts, and the addition of front wings louvres to further optimise airflow over, and around, the bodywork.
The first example of the 650S Sprint is shown with a new striking livery, in an inverted colour scheme of the 650S GT3 car shown at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Finished primarily in white, the design also features the new Tarocco Orange finish seen on the GT3, with subtle black and white detailing throughout.
The 650S Sprint has a lower ride height with recalibrated adaptive damping for revised spring rates, and sits on 19-inch centre-locking racing wheels, fitted with Pirelli slick or wet tyres, while an onboard air jacking system enables quick tyre changes. Stopping power is also enhanced and provided by a race-prepared braking system developed for the 650S Sprint. This system combines with the road car's highly effective Brake Steer system and enhanced active aerodynamics to offer superior braking performance. This allows for later braking into corners, but also improved brake feel and greater cornering speeds.
A range of further options and upgrades are available including a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) developed aerodynamic package including carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, a passenger seat with six-point harness, and further lightweight components including a polycarbonate windscreen.
The 650S Sprint will be priced at £198,000*, and available from all official McLaren retailers worldwide or direct from McLaren GT. Visit to locate your nearest retailer.