New McLaren Sports Series aims for Porsche 911 Turbo

New McLaren Sports Series aims for Porsche 911 Turbo

The new McLaren Sports Series will make its global debut at the New York motor show next April.

The car, which is designed to be McLaren's most accessible model and was formerly codenamed P13, will be priced from £130,000.

McLaren is aiming to challenge rivals such as top-end Porsche 911s, BMW's i8 and the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The power output is still secret, but it is understood that the car will use a version of McLaren’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 making “well over” 500bhp.

Its weight and dimensions are likely to mirror those of the 650S, but it won’t have that car’s interconnected suspension or active aerodynamics. The Sports Series should have a 0-60mph time of less than 4.0sec and a top speed of at least 180mph.

The new model completes the three-car supercar range promised five years ago when the first of the current generation of cars, the 12C (now superseded by the 650S), was unveiled.

Once the new Sports Series is established, McLaren aims to build 2000 to 2500 of them a year. Combined with production of the 650S, this means that total factory output should hit the 4000-unit annual volume that the firm believes is key to its long-term viability.

In future, McLaren wants an entry-level model, a core range (currently the 650S) and an ultimate car such as the P1. By 2016 the P1 will have run its course and McLaren will be deciding what next to build for its super-rich customers.

“We’re launching the Sports Series at the New York show next April,” said CEO Mike Flewitt. “We’ll make our first deliveries to customers in the fourth quarter of the year. Like our other models, this one will have a higher power-to-weight ratio and better performance figures than any rival.”

The new car’s exact designation remains secret, but it’s understood it could follow the pattern established by the 650S. If the engine output were 550bhp, coupé and spider models model would probably be called 550S, and there would probably be a specially tuned Asian market model called 525C (for Club).

This model would probably be unveiled at the Shanghai show three weeks after New York.

McLaren is also understood to be planning a track-only GT3 version to be raced by customer teams. It believes there are now so many credible £130k contenders which race that the new car needs a track presence to achieve visibility.

In 2016 McLaren is also likely to launch a grand touring version of the car, still very fast but specifically aimed at long-distance touring.