The last time we saw a V10 engine in a McLaren was in its Formula 1 cars of the early 2000s, but the 10-cylinder power unit has returned with the Solus GT: a single-seater, track-only racer with a high-revving V10, crazy aerodynamics and the power-to-weight ratio of a Formula 1 car. It’s certainly not your typical McLaren, but it sounds like a recipe for some serious fun.
The Solus GT has been derived from the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo concept, designed for the PlayStation racing game as a virtual-only racer. Usually, concept cars like these never make it to the real world, but the McLaren Solus GT is here as a real production-ready machine, and, on paper, it has all the makings to be the ultimate track car.
The beating heart of the Solus GT is a bespoke version of a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre Judd V10 engine, which produces an eye-watering 829bhp. Unlike McLaren’s typical turbocharged V8s, the V10 can rev to more than 10,000rpm.
The Solus GT uses a seven-speed straight-cut sequential gearbox to put down its power, while the entire car weighs less than 1000kg. This means that the driver, burrowed in the Solus’s fighter-jet-like cabin, can pilot the ludicrous single-seater from 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds.
Double wishbone suspension features at each of the car’s four corners, along with carbon brake discs, carbon pads, six-pot aluminium calipers and 18-inch centre-lock aluminium wheels wrapped in Le Mans Prototype slick tyres. Other racing-inspired touches include F1-style sidepods housing the car’s radiators, a 3D-printed titanium halo-like protection structure, an adjustable pedal box and a racing seat moulded specifically to the owner’s measurements.
McLaren has done away with convention when it comes to the tech powering the Solus GT, as the car’s gearbox and engine serve as a stressed member of the carbon fibre chassis to negate the need for a rear subframe. The motor features no chains or belts, with the car’s ancillaries being gear driven for increased durability.
Buyers also get access to a driver coaching programme to improve their skills before hitting the track in the Solus GT, along with a custom-fit FIA-spec race suit and helmet. Unfortunately for us mere mortals, just 25 Solus GTs are being built, and they have all sold out already.