McLaren's ice driving school in Gstaad, Switzerland - image: McLarenEnlarge Photo
From the onset, McLaren has been adamant its automotive manufacturing business would remain focused on super sports cars, and that its initial lineup would consist of three separate models.
The first of these was the MP4-12C, launched in 2010.
The new P1 flagship supercar has since joined the lineup, which means we’re now left with just one unknown.
McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis has previously stated that this third model, code-named P13, would be the brand’s point of entry, though it will still be a highly capable car aimed at the likes of the Audi R8, Ferrari California (and its replacement) and high-end Porsche 911 variants.
So far, we know the P13 will get its own version of the carbon fiber monocoque used in the 12C and P1. And just like it was modified with a new roll bar and air scoop in its roof structure for the P1, the carbon tub will be modified yet again for its latest application.
The P13 will also share those cars’ twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter M838T V-8 engine, which will likely be detuned to deliver less than 500 horsepower so that it doesn’t step on the toes of its big brothers. The 12C was recently re-rated at 616 horsepower and the P1 is delivering as much as 903 horsepower, so there’s definitely a healthy gap between all three.
A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will also help channel drive to the rear wheels in the P13.
In terms of styling, McLaren tells us the P13 will look something like a cross between the 12C and P1, and be the smallest of the three cars. The P13 will debut as a coupe but will eventually be joined by a convertible model.
We’ll get our first look at the P13, possibly in prototype form, next year, although sales won’t commence until 2015.
Production will take place at the same McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England, where all McLaren models are built, and volumes are expected to be between 2,000 and 2,500 units per year. Together with the 12C and P1, the upcoming P13 will see McLaren’s annual production reach the 4,000 vehicle target promised by Ron Dennis several years ago.