Track Day

McLaren now offering an unrestricted version of its 720S GT3 race car for purchase

The McLaren 720S GT3 is a track-ready supercar.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

No aftermarket tuning required. McLaren Customer Racing is now offering an unrestricted version of its 720S GT3 race car for track use only. Buyer beware, it has not been homologated for any racing class or championship so while tuning isn't required, you're probably going to want to modify it if you are planning to race it.

The car was designed in-house by McLaren's GT performance team. It has a lightweight but strong carbon fiber MonoCage II chassis, which underpins the entire 720 series range. It has the same 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine as the rest of the 720s as well. Fitted with track-ready components, engineers are able to get 710 brake horsepower out of the power plant, and an additional 30 brake horsepower as part of a boost function.

"Due to GT3 balance of performance requirements, the 720S GT3 car has to run with a considerably reduced power output than the road-going 720S Spider and Coupe variants," said Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive. "The brief for the GT3X project was to unleash the full potential of the 720S GT3 car using a massively increased power output to fully exploit the aerodynamics and chassis dynamics of the car. Additionally, the car is now able to carry passengers for the first time, thanks to the re-design of a new bespoke roll-cage and passenger seat installation. Brake cooling has also been improved to cope with the additional demands of increased speed and the mass of a passenger.

McLaren 720S GT3

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

"The 720S GT3X now offers a unique opportunity to experience a fully-fledged GT3 car. The lap time is significantly reduced from the GT3 benchmark through both the huge standard power increase and the additional 30bhp from the push-to-pass button. The end result is a car that offers a truly unique experience."

It's about the same weight as a Mazda MX-5 Miata, tipping the scales a 2,668 pounds. Still, that's about 440 pounds lighter than the 720S on which the racing model is based. Weight savings can be attributed to the lack of creature comforts in the cabin. A carbon fibre and Kevlar FIA-approved race seat hugs the driver and weighs just 22 pounds.

McLaren has finished the car in an MSO Carbon Black paint job that features a McLaren Orange pinstripe. The car rides on gloss black center-locking wheel rims, while an 'X' graphic stretches across the upper canopy.

The car's ergonomically-designed race steering wheel is fitted with all key functions via rotary switches and buttons. There's a six-point harness and revised roll cage to make the car track compliant.

Each buyer will receive dedicated technical support for their car. This program is carried out by the customer support engineers from the in-house McLaren Customer Racing division.

The 720S GT3 has a price tag of over $500,000 (based on 2018 pricing) and can be ordered through a McLaren Motorsport Retailer: McLaren Beverly Hills, McLaren Houston, McLaren Newport Beach, McLaren Philadelphia, McLaren San Francisco, and McLaren Toronto.

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Improved hot hatch

The 2022 VW Golf GTI gets new handling tech

Improvements to the GTI's handling and steering should make it even faster in the curves.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most recognizable and popular cars the automaker sells. After a bumpy few years that ended with the standard Golf model being nixed from VW's U.S catalog, we're starting to see concrete details on the upcoming performance variants of the car, which will thankfully end up heading our way. The eighth-generation Golf GTI and Golf R will make landfall in the United States as 2022 models, and will both feature a load of new tech and refinements. VW just announced the changes that are being made to the GTI's handling and performance systems, and they are extensive, to say the least.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI VW is offering the 8th-gen Golf only in high-performance GTI and R configurations.Volkswagen


Volkswagen is giving the legendary hot hatch a host of improvements, which the automaker says will give the car more precise, stable handling at its limit. The GTI's front suspension has been reconfigured with new wishbone bearings and damping hydraulics. VW says that the car's springs and buffer stops have also been revised, which will give the font axle spring rate that is five percent higher than its predecessor. A new aluminum subframe is also in place, which will reduce weight by seven pounds over the previous car.

The eighth-generation Golf brought a new VW Vehicle Dynamics Manager system which will also benefit the upcoming GTI. The system integrates the car's electronic stability control with its electronic differentials, and in GTI models equipped with the optional DCC adaptive damping system, the system adjusts individual wheel damping up to 200 times per second. The differential itself will now come standard with all GTI models. It's an electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip unit, which varies the levels of its intervention based on how the car is being driven and on how the other traction control functions are being used.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI The GTI's steering is now more responsive.Volkswagen


The GTI's steering system has also been revised to now include an enhanced progressive steering function that uses software to help turn the vehicle with less steering effort, depending on speed. Volkswagen says that the GTI's steering takes just 2.1 turns of the steering wheel to go from lock to lock when it's equipped with 18-inch wheels.

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All-new sports sedans

All-new 2022 Audi A3 and S3 coming soon

The 2022 A3 gets sharper styling.

Audi

The Audi A3 and S3 might be small, but both cars bring benchmark performance and luxury to the compact side of the premium market. The cars have been totally overhauled for the 2022 model year, and pick up new powertrain tech, updated interiors, and sharper styling.

Audi says that the A3 is wider and more aggressively styled than its predecessor, and notes that it will carry a new, wider grille and headlight design. The S3 is now longer and wider than before, and will sport a larger, more aggressive exhaust system.


2022 Audi A3 The A3's interior gets new color options for 2022.Audi


The 2022 A3 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The powertrain also gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid boost for the first time in 2021, which will provide better take-off acceleration and can allow the car to coast with the engine off.

The S3 derives 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is a bump of 18 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque over its predecessor. Audi says that the new powertrain configuration allows the 2022 S3 to sprint from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The S3 also benefits from a .6-inch drop in ride height and new available S sport suspension with damper control that can be adjusted with drive mode selections from the cockpit.


2022 Audi S3 The sporty S3 has also been redesigned for 2022.Audi


The A3's interior brings standard heated setas with eight-way power adjustment, a standard panoramic sunroof, tri-zone climate control, and leather upholstery. Two new color options are available for the 2021 A3, including Santos Brown with Steel Gray stitching and Parchment Beige with Steel Gray stitching. The S3 gets new power-adjustable S sport seats, and can be upgraded inside with diamond-stitched Nappa leather upholstery.

A 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard for both cars, along with a 10.25-inch digital gauge display. Audi's virtual cockpit system, which can project maps and other information into the gauge cluster, is available with a 12.3-inch gauge upgrade option. A head-up display is also available for the first time in both cars.


2022 Audi S3 The S3's interior has been updated with new seats.Audi


Audi includes a few advanced driver aids as standard equipment, which include forward collision warnings, high-beam assist, lane departure warnings, and a pre-collision system that shuts windows and pretensions seatbelts. Most features are optional, and include a parking assistance system, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, and more.

The 2022 Audi A3 will have a starting price of $34,945, which includes a $1,045 destination charge. The A3 Quattro will start at $36,945 and the 2021 S3 will have a starting price of $45,945.

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