Woking, Surrey - McLaren is still refusing to confirm officially the existence of this new hypercar, labelled ‘brutal’ by insiders at Woking, and said to be the most extreme road car in the company’s history.
But Autocar magazine has broken the story in today’s issue, quoting sources at McLaren as saying the second model in the Ultimate Series, codenamed P15, has been pared down to less than 1300kg ready to go, with an upgraded version of McLaren’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s good for almost 600kW.
McLaren engineers were apparently aIlowed to focus on performance (not straight-line speed, but lap times) above all else, and the resulting rocketship is expected to be faster on the track than anything this side of the track-only P1 GTR.
According to the magazine’s sources, the P15 is built on the Monocage II one-piece carbon-fibre tub, with no P1-style hybrid electric drivetrain, carbon-fibre body panels only where they contribute to performance (in particular, the requirement for a boot has apparently been dropped, so the front end is likely to look like no other McLaren yet seen), carbon-fibre racing seats and just enough interior trim to make it street-legal.
Add to that active aerodynamics with F1-style self-adjusting spoilers and a huge diffuser, and the rumoured performance targets of 0-100 in less than three seconds and a 10-second standing quarter-mile don’t sound all that far-fetched anymore.
The Monocage II tub includes a built-in roof structure, which rules out a Spyder version of the P15. Given the extreme design focus, a prettified Longtail variant is even less likely - but Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw did raise the possibility of an even more brutal track-only GTR derivative.
The actual car (the Autocar picture you see here is a speculative rendering) is expected to break cover at an event for existing McLaren customers and potential buyers later this year, ahead of its official public debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2018.
McLaren insiders are reportedly talking about a price tag of around £700 000 (R12 million) plus tax ex works. Add to that shipping, duties and VAT, and you can just about double it for South Africa.
IOL Motoring, from an Autocar media release