It's easy to love the Porsche 911 GT3. This hardcore version of one of the world's most well-rounded sports cars offers enthusiasts plenty of power, and a more elemental driving experience. In fact, the GT3 has a few fans at McLaren Automotive.
According to Piston Heads, the British automaker is using the Porsche as a benchmark for its upcoming supercar code-named "P13", an entry-level model expected to enter production next year. McLaren actually bought its own GT3 for testing, and CEO Mike Flewitt told the website he was "genuinely astonished" by the car's abilities. Clearly, the P13 has a lot to measure up to.
It's easy to think McLaren's main target is Ferrari because of the two companies' historic Formula One rivalry, but the British automaker actually has Porsche in its sights when it comes to sales. Flewitt said most of McLaren's conquest sales have come from Porsche, not Ferrari or Lamborghini. He said McLaren emphasizes technology and is less of a fashion statement than any Italian brand--something traditional Porsche customers can probably appreciate.
Yet while the GT3 is a hot-rodded 911, the P13 will most likely be a stripped-down version of the 650S. It will likely be based on a version of the carbon fiber MonoCell monocoque used by all of McLaren's recent production cars, and use a detuned version of the Ricardo-built 3.8-liter V-8 that's also common to the 650S, P1, and original 12C.
Power output is expected to be around 450-500 horsepower to prevent the P13 from stepping on the toes of its big brothers, and this will be sent to the wheels through the same Graziano seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
A concept version of the P13 is expected later this year, with production to begin sometime in 2015.