The newest addition to the growing lineup of McLaren road cars, the Sports Series, is edging closer to its world debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show. And in the lead up to its arrival McLaren is running an extensive teaser campaign that likens the car’s impending arrival to that of a game changing event, or as McLaren puts it, "a black swan moment".
We’re not sure how game changing the car will be, however, as the spy shots of prototypes show that the Sports Series will look pretty much like McLaren’s other cars, and many of the mechanicals are being carried over from McLaren’s other cars too. Yes, the basis of the Sports Series will be the same carbon fiber monocoque chassis used in McLaren's Super Series range (625C, 650S and 675LT), and the powerplant will be the familiar 3.8-liter V-8 found in all of the automaker’s modern road cars. The transmission? Yep, the Graziano-sourced seven-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission found in the Super Series as well.
So what will help differentiate the Sports Series from the Super Series? The basic answer is price. The Sports Series is designed to challenge cars like the Aston Martin Vantage, Ferrari California T and high-end Porsche 911 variants, so it's possible we'll see pricing dip below $200k, which is well below the 650S’s $265,500 starting price. And like the Porsche 911 in particular, the Sports Series will offer a number of variants designed to cater to different buyer types, from those seeking a soft grand tourer to hardcore track fans.
Other events in McLaren’s past the automaker and racing team consider to be black swan moments include the first use of a carbon fiber monocoque chassis in Formula One back in 1981 with the MP4/1, which forever changed the sport. Another is the development of McLaren’s first road car. No, not the legendary F1 but rather the M6GT, built to homologate McLaren’s M6A Cam-Am racer for GT racing. Sadly the M6GT project died along with the death of McLaren founder Bruce McLaren in 1970. Just a handful were built, but Bruce's aspirations for McLaren to become a bonafide sports car company continue to this day.
The New York Auto Show gets underway April 1. To see what else will be at the show, head to our dedicated hub.