The McLaren MP4-31 is a Formula One race car that was used by the McLaren Honda team during the 2016 Formula One season. It is the last McLaren Formula One race car to carry the "MP4" name following CEO Ron Dennis's departure from the team.
The McLaren MP4-31 was designed by McLaren to compete in the 2016 Formula One season. The car was driven by 2005 and 2006 World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, and reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who replaced Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix following the Spaniard's accident at the Australian Grand Prix which deemed him unfit for the next event. The car used the Honda RA616H power unit, the second engine developed by Honda since their return to the sport with McLaren in 2015.
Despite the Honda power unit still being underpowered and uncompetitive compared to former rival teams, McLaren collected 76 points to place 6th in the constructors' standings, with Alonso achieving a best finish of 5th twice, as well as setting a fastest lap at the 2016 Italian Grand Prix. Alonso, Button and Vandoorne came 10th, 15th and 20th in the standings respectively.
The MP4-31 has a very high starting rank of 1624 (shared with the W Motors Fenyr Supersport), a hidden MAX rank of 1738, and a PRO rank of 1813, the current highest in the game. The car receives +27 from Tuning Kits. The MP4-31 rivals the McLaren Mercedes MP4-25, Aston Martin Vulcan, BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Special Edition, and Porsche 918 Spyder with Weissach Package.
The MP4-31, in spite of being a Formula One car, differs significantly from other F1 cars in the game, probably due to having a Honda engine: it does not have the extremely high acceleration rate or decent nitro efficiency of other F1 cars. The nitro efficiency stands at 8/14/18, less than the Fenyr's 7/13/17 and the McLaren MP4/8's 5/10/15.
The MP4-31 also has a speed modifier of 92.91%, creating a resulting MAX+PRO+Tuning Kit top speed of 311.5 mph/501.5 km/h, which slots it between the HTT Pléthore LC 750 (312.4 mph/503.0 km/h) and Arash AF10 (309.7 mph/498.7 km/h) in terms of real total speed. The MP4-31 can be thought of as a more top speed-focused Mosler Super GT, sharing stats such as fast acceleration and extreme handling abilities favoring short tracks but a lower total speed that discourages use of the car on longer tracks, on which the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Special Edition, Devel Sixteen Prototype, and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport dominate. The MP4-31's acceleration is slightly superior, with the acceleration to maximum speed occurring in 2.7 seconds as opposed to the Vulcan's 3.3. This makes the MP4-31 one of the fastest-accelerating Class S cars, only slightly slower than the TRION NEMESIS in that aspect (2.7 seconds compared to 2.4).
On the shorter tracks where these two cars can shine, the Vulcan is superior in the medium-length tracks such as San Diego Harbor due to its stronger nitro efficiency and top speed, and the MP4-31 is approximately equal to the Vulcan in the shortest tracks such as Dubai. On these sprint tracks, the MP4-31 rivals the Vulcan for the fastest car in the game. An advantage the MP4-31 has over the Vulcan is the ability to drive through most corners without needing to drift, evident in Venice's carousel-like turns, although this comes at the risk of high instability. As of the Porsche Update, the MP4-31 is now more stable, lowering the difficulty of driving this car.
A trait the MP4-31 shares with the MP4-25 and Mercedes-Benz Biome is a high risk of oversteer when turning, which requires the driver to initiate a drift to recover from. As such, the MP4-31 requires a skilled driver both to win this car and to use this car in Multiplayer, as this trait of the car, along with its high instability, increases the chance of an amateur/unskilled driver wrecking with it by a large margin. That being said, even with its increased stability, the driver of this car still needs to be extremely skilled, especially due to its poor nitro efficiency which may lead to several serious problems that could threaten a victory.
The McLaren MP4-31 is an acceptable car to use in multiplayer having decent stats across the board. Beware of the low nitro efficency, total speed, and stability relative to its rank, though, as those mean that the car can only be used effectively on short tracks; on longer tracks, the car is very likely to be inferior to cars like the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, and even the Chevrolet 2016 Camaro SS and the Icona Vulcano V12 Hybrid.
The MP4-31 needs 52 Legendary Custom Racing Engine cards, which are a lot harder to get regularly when compared to the V10 Engine, V12 Engine, and even several other Legendary/Rare engine cards, although Custom Racing engines are usually found in Championship boxes. This makes the MP4-31 harder to upgrade when compared to the Aston Martin Vulcan and Lamborghini Aventador SV (both of which require 32 and 24 V12 Engines, respectively), although it is cheaper in terms of Credits spent than most cars in its class: 1,415,480, compared to the Vulcan's 1,681,775 and SV's 1,860,500.
If fully PRO'd, the MP4-31's has a Credits grinding-suitable Car Mastery Challenge, set as a Flawless race in Dubai, and is now considered the best race for grinding Credits, with an earning rate of 6,400 (if VIP Bonus is taken out of the question) in less than 47 seconds, although this race is an advanced option, as it is only accessible to players with enough Custom Racing Engines. The MP4-31 also offers 725 through its Mastery Challenges.
A good configuration for the MP4-31 that is worthwhile until one has enough Custom Racing Engines to fully PRO the car, 10-0-10-0, gives a rank of 1732 and a decent real total speed of 482.3 km/h when compared to the MP4-25's 488.7 at 1766.
According to the in-game data, the McLaren MP4-31 costs 15,000 to purchase. Pro Kits require 1,415,480, 23 of each Class S Parts card, 52 Custom Racing Engines, 24 Mid-Tech cards, and 32 Advanced Tech cards.
Following its debut in the Championship event, it is currently unknown when the MP4-31 will be made available for sale in the garage. Currently, the MP4-31 and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport are the only exclusive cars from the Car Blueprints Update that hasn't been made unlockable by Blueprints yet.
- Main article: Championship/McLaren MP4-31
The McLaren MP4-31 Championship was held as the fourth and final McLaren Championship event on March 29, 2017, following the revival of the Weber Faster One's Enduro Double Down event. The following 8 Tours must be completed in 10 days once the Championship is started: French Guiana, Barcelona, Patagonia, Azure Coast, Iceland, Venice, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.