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McLaren teases open-top Ultimate Series

Raise the roof: McLaren has released a single rendering of its upcoming Ultimate Series model, showing a car with no roof or windshield.

Windscreen-less McLaren Ultimate Series model rendered ahead of 2020 debut

19 Aug 2019

MCLAREN Automotive has heralded the next chapter of the British supercar marque’s Track22 new-model offensive with chief executive Mike Flewitt revealing a rendering of a still-to-be-named roadster that will join the top echelon of the brand’s range as an Ultimate Series member.


To be limited to 399 units, the roadster will make its debut next year and will be priced between the 720-based Senna at £750,000 ($A1.34m) and the £2.1m ($A3.76m) Speedtail.


While the Senna is McLaren’s take on the ultimate track weapon and the Speedtail focuses on top-speed and grand touring comfort, the company said its newest model will focus on “offering the purest distillation of road-focused driving pleasure and an unrivalled sense of driver connection with the surrounding environment”.


The roadster will feature low-profile dihedral doors and “classical roadster proportions”, which likely alludes to a mid-mounted engine with short overhangs.


McLaren says the new model will focus more on road than track performance, but will nevertheless be the lightest model ever produced by the car-maker thanks to its carbon-fibre construction.


This will make it even lighter than the Senna, which tips the scales at 1198kg (dry), and brings into question the nature of the roadster’s roof, as folding roof mechanisms almost always add weight.


The lack of windshield means it could be offered with no roof at all, or a removable hard-top could be on the cards.


McLaren confirmed the roadster will employ the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the Senna, which under the bonnet of the track star is tuned to produce a massive 588kW/800Nm – the most powerful combustion engine in McLaren’s portfolio.


Mr Flewitt said the new roadster would enhance the on-road driving prowess of its range.


“At McLaren Automotive we are consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver the purest and most engaging driving experience whether for the road or track,” he said.


“Our two current Ultimate Series cars, the Senna and Speedtail, offer unique and distinct driving experiences.


“Now this new addition to the Ultimate Series, an open-cockpit roadster, will take road-focused driving pleasure to new levels.”


McLaren held expressions of interest to existing customers last weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.


Locally, McLaren has sold 55 units through the first seven months of the year, making for a 3.8 per cent increase over the 53 recorded to the same point last year.

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