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McLaren sets date with supercar destiny

Code red: McLaren has provided a second glimpse of its new Ultimate Series weapon that will be revealed, in the modern fashion, on the web next month.

December 10 webcast liftoff for ‘ultimate track-focussed McLaren’

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McLaren logo15 Nov 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

McLAREN Automotive has announced that it will reveal its new track-focused road-legal supercar in an online expose on Sunday December 10 ahead of the petrol-powered two-seater’s public showing at the Geneva motor show in March.

Although the Brits will have to stay up to midnight to see the 12.01am unveiling on the web, Australians will have a better deal, with a more civilised 11.01am (eastern) timing for the showing on a lazy Sunday morning.

Announcing the webcast at the Dubai motor show this week, McLaren also released another teaser image of the supercar, this time showing a red LED light strip in the rear bumper.

The previous teaser image showed a three-pipe exhaust outlet that is thought to be centrally mounted in the rear fascia of the car.

McLaren said the new car is one of two second-generation Ultimate Series models, with the P15 – as it is reportedly called in-house – to be followed by the even more extreme BP23 that the company said “aims to be the world’s first hyper-GT”.

It is unclear whether either of these models will be available to Australian customers, but as the first Ultimate Series models, the P1 and P1 GTR, were not sold Down Under, it might be in doubt.

From what McLaren has said so far, you can expect the P15 to dispense with all subtlety.

“With daily usability sacrificed to give the most intensive driver experience around a circuit, the new Ultimate Series car will be the ultimate track-concentrated McLaren,” the company said in its media release.

“Designed as the most extreme road-legal McLaren ever, it is the third of 15 new models or derivatives due by the end of 2022 under the McLaren Track22 business plan.”

Although no mechanical specifics or performance figures have been released, Britain’s Autocar speculates that the P15 will be powered by an enhanced version of McLaren’s 4.0-litre V8 from the 720S, producing a rumoured 588kW – 58kW more than the 720S which is the flagship of McLaren’s Super Series.

A big, fixed rear wing will dominate the rear, while the front aerodynamics will come in for a major reworking, allegedly with air being channelled through openings in the front and out through vents on the bonnet in front of the windscreen.

As Autocar points out, this means the front luggage storage space usually found in these mid-engine McLarens will get the chop, probably along with other everyday motoring conveniences.

The new Ultimate Series follows McLaren’s first such series that spawned the blistering P1 hybrid and its track version, the P1 GTR.

McLaren built 375 P1s at its Woking factory between 2013 and 2015, selling all of them before the first one left the production line.

That model was powered by McLaren’s 3.8-litre turbocharged V8 combined with an electric motor to produce 673kW or power and 900Nm of torque, propelling 1450kg car to 100km/h from zero in just 2.8 seconds.

Unlike the P1, the P15 will have petrol power only.

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