McLaren Motorsport has shown off its new Artura GT4 race car, which the company hopes will build on the successes of its 570S GT4 and 720S GT3 competition cars.
The GT4 shares much of its technology with the Artura road car, which debuts the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture featuring a carbon-fiber monocoque at its core. Weight reduction has been a key target on the Artura road car, and this philosophy continues in the race car, with the GT4 more than 100kg lighter than the outgoing 570S GT4.
“The Artura GT4 is the second race car to be built from the ground up by McLaren Automotive’s motorsport division. Based on the revolutionary new McLaren Artura, it represents a significant step up from the outgoing 570S GT4, itself a hugely successful competition car that has achieved many race and championship wins with our customer racing teams,” said Ian Morgan, director of motorsport at McLaren Automotive. “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 program.”
The Artura road car has a hybrid powertrain with an all-new, compact twin-turbo 120° V6 petrol engine, allied to an axial flux electric motor in the transmission. 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 delivers a weight saving of 130kg; 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 V6 engine’s twin turbochargers are situated within the engine vee and the unit has been designed to offer improved throttle response and fuel economy compared with the older M838 V8 used in the 570S GT4, even without electrification.
The engine is controlled by a Bosch Motorsport ECU, making tuning for balance of performance management easier – essential for competing in the GT4 category. The Artura GT4 also features 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 sequential gearbox (the Artura road car’s 8-speed seamless-shift gearbox is not used as that employs the hybrid motor for reversing) with a mechanical LSD.
McLaren states that the aerodynamic package offers greater downforce than the outgoing 570S GT4, particularly at the front end, and features a splitter, dive planes and revised bonnet duct. At the rear, a high-efficiency wing incorporates seven angle settings to cover a wide spectrum of circuit types. The rear wing is mounted to the chassis using a new ‘G-Pylon’ design, which means the rear bodywork can be removed without having to dismantle the wing.
Suspension and handling have also been enhanced over the 570S GT4, with the front wheel width increased for more grip and less tire degradation thanks to development carried out with tire partner Pirelli. Damping has also been improved, as has brake cooling efficiency. Driver aids include ABS and adjustable traction control.
Purchasers of the Artura GT4 will be able to order from a comprehensive list of options to support a range of competition and track environments. These include the fitting of a passenger seat and harness. Both seats can be specified in a variety of sizes.
Additional driver aids available to purchase include TPMS, VBox telemetry and a collision-avoidance system radar. A data pack is available with laser ride height sensors, damper potentiometers and brake infrared sensors. Endurance racing options include a drinks system and additional lights for night racing. Left-hand fuel fill and air jack lance are available for differing pit-lane demands.