McLaren has a surprise for us at this year’s Monterey Car Week. The brand introduced the Solus which took its inspiration from open-wheel racing cars. The company only makes 25 of them and each instance already has a buyer. Shipping starts in 2023.
The Solus packs a 5.2-liter V10 engine sourced from Judd that produces 829 horsepower (619 kilowatts) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-meters). It spins to 10,000 rpm, and the powerplant is a structural element of the chassis. McLaren targets the vehicle to hit 62 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds and have a top speed of over 200 mph (320 kph).
The model uses a seven-speed sequential gearbox with a casing that combines aluminum and magnesium panels. The rear suspension is attached to the transmission.
The Solus weighs less than 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms), but its body is capable of generating more than 2,646 pounds (1,200 kilograms) of downforce. To make this possible, aerodynamic pods surround the wheels. Plus, the front splitter sends air into a ground-effect tunnel under the body. The engine radiator is in the sidepods which are part of the rear fender.
The suspension consists of double wishbones at both ends. The front bodywork features pushrod-operated dampers, and there’s a pullrod at the rear.
The Solus accommodates one passenger, and the canopy slides to let the driver into the vehicle. Each one is bespoke to the buyer as McLaren works with the customer to shape the seat and its fixed location for a specific person. Like an open wheel race car, the steering wheel includes the essential controls and views for the instrument. The roll hoop and halo protection structure is 3d printed titanium.
25 buyers get the full racing experience which includes a driver development training program, FIA homologous racing suit, helmet and bespoke HANS kit.
Solus is currently in a track-testing development phase. Buyers get access to prototype driving sessions where they can offer input into the vehicle’s evolution. When the process is complete, these people will get access to a special track event. Plus, the flight box will include tools, jacks, stands, radio set, and coolant preheater, so they can take the engine to other events.