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McLaren not eyeing hypercar rivals for BP23

Sketchy details: A single sketch is so far all McLaren fans have to judge the BP23, however it will reintroduce the three-seat layout from the legendary F1 model.

Merc-AMG Project One, Aston Martin Valkyrie not rivals for BP23, says McLaren

14 Jun 2017

MCLAREN Asia Pacific managing director George Biggs said the car-maker did not consider upcoming hypercar offerings from Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin to be true competitors for its BP23 hyper-GT, which is currently being developed ahead of a likely release date near the turn of the decade.

Speaking to GoAuto at the Australian launch of the new 720S, Mr Biggs said that due to the unique nature of the BP23, it was hard to draw direct comparisons to anything else.

“So it’s interesting, at that level of the segment it’s not a direct competitor, a lot of people like to make head-to-head comparisons, it’s not really that,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any car that BP23 is going to be similar to – three-seater-wise certainly, it’s certainly what we’re going to try to achieve and deliver with that car.”

Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG are both working on hypercars that will represent the pinnacle of performance for their respective brands, drawing on Formula One-derived technology to help achieve their goals.

Red Bull is assisting Aston Martin with building the Valkyrie, which will use a high-revving, aspirated V12, full carbon-fibre construction and offer a power-to-weight ratio of one horsepower per kilogram of weight. Just 150 road-going versions will be made, while an additional 25 will be made exclusively for the track.

Mercedes-AMG, on the other hand, is using a powertrain derived from its Formula One car, namely a 1.6-litre V6 engine teamed to a hybrid battery system for a reputed output of more than 745kW. It is rumoured to carry a pricetag of about €2 million (A$2.96m).

One point of difference for the McLaren, along with its three-seat layout, could be that it will be pitched as a high-powered grand tourer, as opposed to an all-out track-focused monster.

“That car is going to be focused really in a hyper GT, so it’s going to be focused on a car which is about the journey, it’s about sharing with people – you’ve got three seats so you can obviously share it with whoever you want to – and it’s going to be something which is really just trying to take the McLaren DNA and experience in a slightly different way,” Mr Biggs said.

“It’s not just going to be something like – well some people have mistakenly said its going to be the replacement for the P1 – it’s not.

“It’s something that’s quite different to that, and it’s almost an extension of, if you take the 570GT, it’s taking what we can do at an extreme level of that type of product and taking it to an Ultimate Series position.”

Interior exclusivity will also be a focus for the BP23, with Mr Biggs saying he expected all of the 106 buyers to fly to McLaren’s factory in Woking, England to consult with designers and engineers on the layout, materials and buttons used in the interior of their vehicle.

No information has been released on the powertrain of the BP23, other than that it will be a hybrid setup and will eclipse the 673kW/900Nm output of the previous Ultimate Series vehicle, the now-discontinued P1.

The most likely setup would be to team a hybrid battery pack to McLaren’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which under the bonnet of the 720S pumps out a fearsome 530kW/770Nm.

Only a single teaser image has been revealed of the BP23, which shows a long, sweeping rear profile with plenty of room for fitting a mid-mounted engine.

The car is expected to be completed in 2019, with deliveries likely to commence in 2020.

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