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Geneva show: McLaren teases new Super Series engine

Burning desire: The engine bay of the new McLaren Super Series illuminates when the car is unlocked.

New 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to power next-generation McLaren Super Series

16 Feb 2017

MCLAREN’S upcoming second-generation Super Series model will be powered by a 4.0-litre V8 turbo-petrol engine, the British supercar-maker has confirmed ahead of its unveiling at next month’s Geneva motor show.

The new powerplant, codenamed M840T, is a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine employing a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers that deliver reduced turbo lag compared with the old model, and its size has grown 200cc over the 3.8-litre unit that powers the entire range of current McLarens.

As previously reported, it is rumoured that the new model will be named the 720S, which, in line with McLaren naming conventions, would mean a power output of 720PS, or 530kW, representing a bump in power of 52kW over the 650S.

It would also mark the first time that a Super Series model would be denoted the number seven, as the 650S and 675LT are the only Super Series McLarens currently available.

There is a possibility that the 720S will be equipped with a hybrid petrol-electric powertain in accordance with McLaren’s Track22 future business plan that states that the company will release 15 new models or variants by 2022, with over half of those being hybrid.

McLaren has said in its latest release that the new Super Series model will be able to sprint from zero to 200km/h in 7.8 seconds, and cover the standing quarter mile (402m) in 10.3s.

In comparison, the Ferrari 488 GTB takes 8.3s to complete the 0-200km/h sprint, and Lamborghini’s flagship V12 Aventador takes 9.1s.

McLaren has also worked on optimising the engine note of the new V8, using a “crescendo” characteristic that changes according to engine rpm, and for those looking to turn heads, an optional sports exhaust is available.

One novel feature on the new Super Series is the illumination of the engine bay which is visible from the outside of the car through a hexagonal mesh, which lights up in red and shows the new V8 when the car is unlocked.

McLaren Super Series vehicle line director Haydn Baker said the new engine improved almost universally over the current 3.8-litre unit.

“Power, torque and throttle response are all significantly enhanced compared to the first-generation Super Series, yet with fuel efficiency and emissions also notably improved,” he said.

The latest release by McLaren is the fourth tease of the new Super Series, with other information detailing aspects of the car such as its dynamic and handling improvements including the availability of drift mode and chassis control, advancements in aerodynamics, and its lightweight carbon-fibre-laden chassis.

It will be the first time since McLaren Automotive’s launch in 2010 that any model line will have a second generation of product.

Full details of the engine’s specification and power outputs will be revealed at Geneva on March 7.

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