McLaren took out its second Timed Shootout title in three years to cap off its 60th anniversary celebrations at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and did so in a manner that would have pleased its founder. The sports and racing car company took a car it had designed for the 2017 Gran Turismo SPORT video game, and turned it into a fire-breathing track car that was faster than anything else up the hill. iew 15 Images View gallery – 15 images
The normal direction for car design in video games is for real world cars to be virtualized and raced online, with their real-world handling characteristics becoming ever more congruent with each passing virtual iteration.
This time though, the order was reversed, with the futuristic McLaren Solus GT concept first appearing in the 2017 Gran Turismo SPORT video game and becoming such a fan favorite that it was decided to create 25 customer cars based on the virtual car, complete with the snarling 10,000rpm naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine and seven-speed sequential transmission as specified in the game.
The real world engine produces 829 horsepower and 650 Nm (479 lb.ft) of torque and the whole car weighs in at less than 1,000 kg. Computer simulations done prior to this dynamic debut suggested a 0-100km/h time of around 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 200 mph.
All 25 cars sold out when the car was first announced at a price believed to be in the vicinity of US$4.0 million each, so there must have been quite a few people feeling vindicated and happy on Sunday afternoon when the Solus GT ran the fastest time of the day at 45.34 seconds, finishing a full second clear of second-place Travis Pastrana’s Subaru GL Family Huckster (46.37 seconds), and crossing the finish line traveling nearly 20 mph faster.
The build video above will give you an idea of why the Subaru GL Family Huckster produced a time that left cars such as a 650-hp Calsonic Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R (48.18 at 123.5mph), Rimac Nevera (49.32 at 129.3mph) and a Ferrari 488 Challenge (49.88 at 122.2mph) in its wake.
Pastrana’s Subaru GL Family Huckster began life as a Subaru GL Wagon but by the time they’d finished, there wasn’t much of the original car left. There’s still a boxer four under the bonnet, but this one feeds 862 horses to the car’s all-wheel-drive system via a six-speed sequential gearbox.
In addition to winning the day, the McLaren Solus also ran the third-fastest time ever recorded by a production car over the hillclimb course, behind the McMurtry Speirling (39.08) and the 1360 hp Nio EP9 electric track-only supercar (44.32).
You’ll notice that the McMurtry Spéirling’s time, recorded at last year’s Festival of Speed, is better than six seconds faster again, which is on account of it being a very special race car that really sucks … itself to the road. The successor to the McMurtry Spéirling fan car prototype that ran that time, to be known as the McMurtry Spéirling PURE, was shown for the first time at Goodwood Festival of Speed, becoming the first commercially available sealed skirt fan car in history.
As usual, the 30th anniversary 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed was the wonderful event it has been since its inception, being the world’s greatest celebration of motorsport and car culture. The event web site has a fully-featured media coverage of all of the happenings.