McLaren Motorsport’s Artura GT4 racing car makes its debut today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, ahead of its competitive debut. Based on the all-new Artura luxury supercar, the Artura GT4 builds on the successes of the multi-championship-winning 570S GT4 and 720S GT3 racers. It shares much of its technology with the road-legal version, including the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture featuring a carbonfibre monocoque at its core.
This motorsport-inspired chassis design and construction is said to be the ideal platform for a racing car as a rigid structure enables a wider setup envelope for the driver as well as providing a strong and extremely safe driving environment. The minimisation of weight is a key element of the Artura, and this philosophy continues in the racing car. With a compact V6 engine and ancillaries including the exhaust system all weight-optimised, the new GT4 is more than 100 kgs lighter than the outgoing 570S GT4.
However, there is also a lot of weight saved in the powertrain because the GT4 does not have a hybrid powertrain like the Artura. The V6 engine alone generates more than enough output for the tightly-controlled GT4 racing requirements, where regulations do not permit hybrid powertrains. The lack of hybrid components takes away 130 kgs on an already super-lightweight car, while the space within the carbon monocoque for the hybrid battery of the road car now houses the fuel cell and ancillary drive system, keeping weight central and low down.
The latest V6 engine features fast-responding twin turbochargers situated within the engine vee and the unit has been designed to offer improved throttle response and fuel economy compared to the older M838 V8 used in the 570S GT4, even without electrification. Considerably lighter and smaller than the older unit, the new V6 engine further improves power-to-weight, lowers the car’s centre of gravity and benefits weight distribution.
The engine is controlled by a Bosch Motorsport ECU to fine-tune Balance of Performance management, essential for competing in the GT4 category. A modular motorsport wiring harness for serviceability, reducing repair times and costs. This interfaces with a motorsport electrical system for enhanced versatility, with the benefit of more robust and variable control systems.
Power is delivered through a 7-speed gearbox with an improved set of ratios optimised for performance and the transmission system has onboard diagnostic software. The unit is not the same as the road car’s 8-speed gearbox which uses the E-motor for reversing. GT4 regulations demand that the car must have a reverse gear.
The Artura carries the McLaren design principles of ‘everything for a reason’ and accordingly has high aerodynamic efficiency. The GT4 extends this further with an aerodynamic package that offers greater downforce than the outgoing 570S GT4 (particularly at the front end) with features such as a bespoke splitter, dive planes and bespoke bonnet duct. At the rear, a high efficiency wing incorporates 7 angle settings to cover a wide spectrum of circuit types.
Safety levels are on a par with the 720S GT3, including the fixed FIA 8862 spec driver’s seat with adjustable pedals for reach. The steering wheel is also inspired by the GT3 car with illuminated buttons for competition in all conditions at both day and night. The cockpit also features a new Bosch DDU instrument display, with enhanced graphics.
Serviceability improvements include a removeable bonnet for ease of access and a 110-litre fuel cell with two motorsport lift pumps and a main pump for increased reliability and performance. The rear wing is mounted to the chassis using a new ‘G-Pylon’ design that means the rear bodywork can be removed without having to dismantle the wing. In the interests of robustness in the heat of battle, the Low Temperature Radiators have been moved inboard while the high-level exhaust system is now solely mounted to the powertrain; sound volume is recorded at 105dB static.
“The Artura GT4 is the second race car to be built from the ground-up by McLaren Automotive’s Motorsport division. With lighter weight, extremely precise handling characteristics and enhanced durability – as well as the packaging and efficiency advantages and all-round serviceability for mechanics of the new V6 powertrain – the Artura GT4 will set new class standards, as we are already seeing from our extensive test and development programme,” said Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport at McLaren Automotive.
Pricing has not been announced although it is expected to start from £200,000, equivalent to about RM1.074 million. The car is still undergoing an intensive test and development programme ahead of the 2023 season when the first customer cars will compete.