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‘Most powerful’ McLaren in the works

1 for the money: McLaren’s 673kW P1 hybrid supercar will get an even more powerful track-focussed spinoff next year.

Hardcore track version of McLaren’s hybrid P1 flagship confirmed for 2015

5 Jun 2014

BRITISH supercar builder McLaren Automotive will offer a stripped out track version of its range-topping petrol-electric P1 coupe next year, promising it will be the most powerful McLaren car yet.

Only customers who have bought the limited-edition street-legal P1 road car will be allowed to buy the track version, which will be “one of the rarest” McLarens.

McLaren, which this week announced that it had turned a profit for the first time in its three-year history as a road car producer, confirmed that the P1 track car – which some British journalists have dubbed the P1 Track – will be one of two new models to be introduced in 2015, the other being an entry level coupe codenamed P13 which promises to deliver more affordable motoring than current offerings.

The company has not spelled out technical details or pricing for the P1 Track, but we assume it has an even more powerful version of the P1’s hybrid powertrain that combines a turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 with electric motors for a combined 673kW of power and 900Nm of torque.

It can bolt from zero to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds – one of the swiftest in the world – and on to a top speed of 350km/h, yet deliver fuel economy of 8.3 litres per 100km – similar to a six-cylinder family car.

Only 375 P1 road cars are being built, all of which sold out within six months of being announced at the Geneva motor show last year. Production began in September, and more than 100 have been delivered to date.

At the other end of the McLaren spectrum, the P13 is expected to go on sale in the Britain in September next year, using a less powerful version of the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 that will still deliver more than 300kW of power to the rear wheels.

42 center imageLeft: McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt.

Says McLaren: “The P13 will be a comfortable, usable, and beautiful mid-engined two-seater sportscar, built around a carbon fibre chassis.

“It will be available in more than one derivative and once fully on sale, McLaren Automotive’s total annual production will increase to around 4000 units per year.” The P13 reportedly will be a similar size to the McLaren’s new mainstream model, the 650S, which effectively replaced the 12C launched in coupe form in 2011.

As the 478kW/678Nm 650S is priced at $441,500 (plus on-road costs) for the coupe and $486,250 for the Spider in Australia, the P13 can be expected to be significantly less once it lands in McLaren’s Trivett showroom in Sydney, possibly in 2016.

So far, orders for several McLaren 650Ss have been placed in Australia, but no P1 orders are believed to have been laid by cashed-up Aussies.

McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt this week described the P13 as “a very exciting project, which will help us to access new markets and customers, grow our sales volumes and ultimately increase both revenue and profitability”.

“I am confident that by maintaining our commitment to innovation and excellence McLaren Automotive has an extremely bright future,” he said.

Announcing the 2013 pre-tax profit of £4.5 million ($A8.1m) – representing the company’s first year in the black – McLaren attributed the turn-around to on-target global car sales.

It said it had delivered 1359 12Cs and 36 P1s in 2013, with revenues rising by £18.8 million ($A34m) to £285.4 million ($A515m).

McLaren said its improved profitability validated the company’s longer term business model, which was to invest continuously in research and development for “the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced high performance cars”.

The company forecast that its profit would grow in 2014 as the 650S gets into its stride, and that investment in future models would be increased.

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