McLaren Solus GT is a 840PS track car

19th August 2022
Ethan Jupp

Vision Gran Turismo cars are flights of fantasy, impossible to realise in the real world, right? Wrong, says McLaren. Its new Solus GT is its Vision Gran Turismo brought out of the virtual realm and very much to life, as a track-only ultra-exclusive hypercar.


Given it’s based on the Vision GT, to say it’s quite unlike anything McLaren has yet made would be an understatement, right? Well, it does go deeper than you’d expect, to the point that not even the usual McLaren turbocharged V8 or its new hybrid V6 are in use under the skin. No, the Solus uses none other than a 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10, that revs to over 10,000rpm while producing 840PS (618kW). Really really.

The benefits in terms of sound and response are obvious, but McLaren also claims packaging came into it too. The mill is made of low-volume machined components and given the Solus’ track-only remit, is beholden to exactly zero emissions regulations. Think of it as McLaren’s answer to the Pagani Huayra R’s screaming V12. It’s entirely gear driven with no belts or chains and has barrel-driven throttles. It’s effectively a race engine, in all senses short of homologation for use in the Le Mans Hypercar class.


It also forms an integral part of the car’s structure, being bolted directly to the chassis. There’s a titanium halo, with the single-seater carbon chassis drawing a close relation in terms of technology and conception, to Formula 1. The seven-speed sequential transmission is a bespoke casing and bolts to the back of the engine, and serves as the mounting point for the rear suspension. In short, this thing is very motorsport even down to its core assembly.

That extends, needless to say, to downforce figures. The Solus is capable of generating 1,200kg of downforce, thanks to the sinewy sprawling aero and shrink-wrapped bodywork surrounding the single-seater cockpit, with cavernous venturi tunnels, enormous rear wing, slab-like double splitter and hammerhead nose. It really is about as extreme as these things get – McLaren’s answer to the Aston Martin Valkyrie, only free of the shackles of road homologation. Even though it’s a highly downforce-driven car, it’s also designed to have reduced drag, using similar teardrop bodywork principles to the ultra-slippery Speedtail hypercar.


There’s not a lot to push onto the road, though. The Solus is as light as it looks, tipping the scales at just 1,000kg, meaning peak downforce figures actually exceed its weight. Insert time-worn ceiling driving claim *here*. Performance is as you’d expect: F1-like in terms of pace and sensation. You won’t go faster in a McLaren this side of a Lando Noriss’s MCL36.

Buyers of Solus GTs have beeen involved from the beginning, including with the development of the car both virtually and now physically. Just 25 lucky owners from the world over will get a Solus and needless to say, each is already spoken for. In terms of customisation, well, this is as much MSO as it is motorsport. Thy sky and indeed a limitless budget, are the limits. No, it’s not an exact recreation of the Vision GT, but the relation is obvious. Plus, you know, V10. So would you take this, a Valkyrie AMR Pro, or a T.50 S? We’re in no doubt most buyers of these sorts of cars have at least one of each…

  • McLaren

  • Solus GT

  • Monterey 2022

  • Monterey Car Week

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