McLaren has just released full details of their upcoming MP4-12C GT3 race car that's been designed to compete in the GT3 class of the FIA GT series. The 12C GT3's program is a collaborative effort between McLaren Automotive and former customer team CRS Racing. Just as in the road car version, the GT3 features a full carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, but also adds a GT3-compliant all carbon-fiber aerodynamics package.
This includes an adjustable rear wing, front splitter, front fender louvres and a rear diffuser. It's powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 from the production car, but it's been detuned from 592 hp to around 493 hp due to class rules. However, McLaren claims the detuned engine optimizes power output for the track and provides a better performance balance. The seven-speed dual-clutch has also been replaced with a lightweight six-speed sequential racing transmission.
It's able to reduce weight in the rear and moves the car's center of gravity forward, improving tire grip, braking ability, and overall handling performance. It's also equipped with brakes supplied by Japanese company Akebono, who have previously supplied braking systems for McLaren's F1 program. The steering wheel comes directly from the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 Formula 1 car. The GT3 racer will be taking part in a number of races throughout the 2011 FIA GT season beginning at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain.
Competitors will include Ferrari 458 GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, and Porsche 911 GT3. So far, 20 cars are expected to be produced and there's already lots of interest from other potential customers.