By Dave Abrahams

Petersfield, Hampshire - This, says Lanzante, the racing team that built it, is the ultimate McLaren P1 road car.

It's not a tweaked version of the already impressive standard P1 - the P1 LM is an upgraded version of the P1 GTR endurance racer, and yes, it's street legal.

It's going to be this model's last hurrah - the fastest and rarest P1 of all - lighter and faster even than the GTR race version.

But it's not a new idea: back in 1995, it was Lanzante that ran the semi-works McLaren F1 GTR which won that year's Le Mans 24 hours. After the race it helped McLaren to build just six street-legal F1 LM replicas, one of which the factory kept, while the other five were sold to lucky customers.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Lanzante has prepared a prototype street-legal P1 LM, based on a GTR endurance racer, for this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, after which it will build another five customers - one grey like the prototype and four in McLaren's signature orange - for delivery in January 2017.

Detuned racer? No way!

The biggest changes are to the engine, upping both boost and hybrid power so that it produces the same 735kW as the race car while running on 99-octane petrol, rather than 102 octane racing fuel.

The catalyser pipes and exhaust headers are made from Inconel, an exotic nickel alloy used for making jet engine components the, the intercoolers have been upgraded with more efficient cores and the engine compartment has gold-plated heat shielding.

Rims and rubber are unique to the P1 LM, but the suspension is the standard GTR active chassis control endurance-racing setup.

The LM will be a whopping 60kg lighter than the race car thanks to the omission of racing kit such as the onboard air-jacks and the use of lightweight seats from the F1 GTR, the Inconel exhaust and titanium tailpipes, and the replacement of a lot of steel nuts and bolts with lighter-than-aluminium, super strong, very expensive titanium.

The light stuff

It has a larger front splitter and rear wing than are permitted in GT3-class endurance racing, for an estimated 40 percent extra downforce, with the carbon-fibre roof and some body panels finished in clear lacquer.

There's more carbon fibre inside - the whole dashboard, instrument binnacle, seat backs, door liners centre console and even the floor mats are made of the light stuff. The special steering wheel is based on the one in Lewis Hamilton's MP4/23 Formula One car, while the alcantara synthetic suede trim of the seat inserts and door pulls will be orange on the orange cars and black on the grey one. Five-point racing harnesses will be standard, as will air-conditioning.

Each car will come with a full tool kit, a diagnostics tablet, a tailored car cover and 1:8 scale model of itself - but nothing so crass as price is mentioned. That's between Lanzante and the five customers.

Motoring.co.za

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