McLaren's MP4-12C is hot property right now, but the British supercar specialist has upped the ante even further - it has begun testing a racing version at MIRA and Silverstone in the UK.
Known as the MP4-12C GT3, the racing model has been extensively developed for the track in McLaren's simulator at its UK base in Woking, Surrey.
Testing was carried out by McLaren GT project manager Andrew Kirkaldy and the company's chief tester Chris Goodwin. We're told that further testing will take place at a number of European circuits during March and April.
Though set up for the track, McLaren's racer is fundamentally identical to the 12C road car. It uses the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine, which McLaren says has been tuned to race specification.
The road car's single-piece carbon fibre MonoCell chassis also remains, weighing in at a mere 75kg. The gearbox is a bespoke item, designed by Ricardo and set up for racing with unique paddle shifters.
The brakes and the aerodynamics have undergone the biggest changes. A new anti-lock braking system comes courtesy of Bosch, as do revamped electronics.
The racing car's aerodynamics system was developed by McLaren Racing and features a large, fixed rear spoiler, a new front splitter and louvers in the front bumper and door blades.
Suspension has also been upgraded to racing specification, which means that the ProActive Chassis Control System from the road car has been dropped to comply with GT racing regulations.
McLaren has signed Álvaro Parente, a 26-year-old Portuguese racing driver, as part of its test team for the MP4-12C GT3 and the car is due to compete in a limited number of European GT races this year.
Budding GT racers will be able to get their hands on the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in 2012.
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