A mysterious McLaren MP4-12C has been spotted testing around Europe for the past year. Though it was initially thought the vehicle was being used to develop mild updates for the 12C range
, this latest version, seen with a modified wheelbase and extended wheel arches, confirms we’re actually looking at an early test mule for McLaren’s next supercar, an entry-level model currently doing the rounds as the P13.
This makes sense, as the 12C has been on the market for only a couple of years and has already been updated once. Considering it can hit 60 mph in 2.8 seconds
and reach a top speed of 213 mph
, we’re happy with McLaren leaving it as it is for now.
It’s also natural for McLaren to use the 12C as the basis of its test mule for the P13 as both cars are expected to feature the same carbon fiber monocoque structure, called the MonoCell. You may recall the flagship P1
uses a modified version of this monocoque, which McLaren calls the MonoCage.
The P13 will also likely come with a version of the Ricardo-built 3.8-liter V-8 fitted to both the 12C and P1, which in its latest application is expected to be detuned to around 450 horsepower so that the car 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 this would leave a healthy gap between all three. Also common to all three cars should be the Graziano-sourced SSG seven-speed dual-clutch transmission already found in the 12C and P1.
In terms of styling, McLaren previously told us
the P13 will look something like a cross between the 12C and P1. It will debut as a coupe but will eventually be joined by a convertible.
Despite its entry-level positioning in the McLaren lineup, it will still be a highly-capable supercar, targeting the likes of the Audi R8, Ferrari California (and its replacement
), upcoming Mercedes-Benz AMG GT (C190)
, and high-end Porsche 911 variants. Given its exclusivity, pricing of the P13 will lie towards the higher end of the segment, with the figure likely to fall somewhere between $150k and $200k.
We’re expecting the reveal of a concept version sometime next year, with the production P13 to debut in early 2015.
Production will take place at the McLaren Production Center in Woking, England, where all McLarens are built, and volumes are expected to be between 2,000 and 2,500 units per year. Together with the 12C and P1, the P13 will see McLaren’s annual production reach the 4,000 vehicle target
promised by Ron Dennis during McLaren Automotive's early days.
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