Ever wondered how a lighter, more agile McLaren P1, purely powered by a socking powerful high revving V8 would be? You'd know soon, as McLaren is said to be developing a secret hypercar, with maximum emphasis on track performance and just the bare minimum concessions for comfort and road worthiness(It is said to have bodywork only where its required, one source describing it as looking "Brutal").
So what all do we know about it? For starters, it will sport the 720S's monocage II carbon chassis tub. A tuned-to-an-inch-of-its-life 3.8 V8 producing 789 bhp or a nice round 800 ps of power.
Suits at McLaren refuse to confirm the existence of the car, which will be the second model in the firm’s Ultimate Series after the P1. One source has described the P15 as a “track weapon” with the goal of delivering “the most exciting and thrilling driving experience on track”.
This will be far from the three seat hyper GT confirmed by McLaren: codenamed "BP23".
However, with its two-seat configuration said to be one of the few concessions to practicality, the P15 is also expected to weigh less than 1300kg — a substantial saving over the 1547kg P1. This would give the new car a power-toweight ratio that eclipses the P1’s 647bhp per tonne — a crucial factor in achieving the goal of outstanding performance on the track.
Although McLaren’s focus has so far been on lap times over straight-line pace, the P15 will eclipse the 720S’s quarter-mile time of 10.4sec and challenge the P1’s 10.2sec. Likewise, it could potentially match the P1’s 0-60mph time of 2.7sec and get close to the P1 GTR’s 2.5sec. The 720S has a 0-60mph time of 2.8sec. It is over the 0-120mph sprint, though, that the P15 is likely to display its extra pace.
However, despite the project’s engineering-led bias, the look of the car is said to have been led and signed off by Rob Melville, who was promoted to McLaren’s design director in May. As a result, our artist has speculated that the car will retain many familiar McLaren design features, partnered with extreme wing and diffuser elements and even more aggressively aerodynamically shaped bodywork.
That look will include a substantial front spoiler and a rear wing described as “huge”. To achieve its track goals, the P15 will set new standards for active aerodynamics across the surface of the car. Details remain secret, but this will likely mean incorporating self-adjusting front and rear spoilers that will be fed air by a variety of ducts and scoops that can also open and close as required. The ride height of the car could also be adjustable to maintain maximum efficiency.
Inside, the P15 is said to be stripped back in every way possible without breaching legal requirements for a road car, with even the seats adapted from lightweight racing car versions to save weight. Luggage space is said to be restricted to the point that there is room in the rear to carry only two crash helmets and sets of racing overalls.
P15 launch details remain scarce, although customers are said to already be vying for the limited production run of 500 cars. An official reveal event is expected to be held before the end of the year, but this is likely to be restricted to existing McLaren customers or those who have registered an interest in the car.
Starting prices will be about £700,000 plus tax (£840,000 in the UK) — almost the same as the P1, which was priced from £866,000, including tax, when it was launched in 2012. A public debut for P15 is anticipated for the Geneva motor show in March 2018, with deliveries beginning in the summer.