British marquee McLaren is said to be working on what would soon be its most extreme road car in the company’s history. Codenamed the P15, The model is said to feature an 789 bhp engine with a stripped out interior and overall weight of less than 1,300 kg. The new model will be the second in McLaren’s Ultimate Series range after the hybrid P1. Designed to be the most extreme, track-ready but still road legal car in the line-up, the brand’s engineers have reportedly been given the freedom to prioritize performance over everything else and the P15 is said to be faster on a racing circuit than any McLaren, barring the track-only P1 GTR.
The McLaren P15 will be underpinned by the same chassis as the 720S
At its heart is a tweaked version of the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 said to produce around 789 bhp, making it more powerful than the 727 bhp produced by the road-going P1’s engine, but below the 903 bhp peak achieved when the P1’s electric motor is also in operation. However, the car’s weight is said to have been slashed by the use of McLaren’s latest Monocage II one-piece carbon fibre tub, and when combined with a race-inspired two-seater interior and no P1-style electrical powertrain, it should result in the P15 tipping the scales at less than 1,300 kg. Against the 1,547 kg P1, that would give the P15 an even better power-to-weight ratio. Straight-line performance is expected to match, if not beat, the P1’s figures of 0-60 mph in 2.7 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.2 seconds.
The car’s brutal styling is said to be the ultimate distillation of form following function with carbon bodywork used only where it delivers a performance, rather than aesthetic benefit. Active aerodynamics, with self-adjusting spoilers, not to mention a huge diffuser are also expected to be on offer.
The official reveal will take place later this year, restricted to existing McLaren customers and potential buyers, followed by an official public debut at March 2018’s Geneva Motor Show. Expect a price tag of around £700,000 plus tax (£840,000 in the UK), with production set to be limited to 500 cars. While other McLaren models such as the 675 have spawned Longtail (LT) and Spider open-top variants, the track focused natured of the P15 has ruled these out. However, as it will be a road car, there is the potential for a track-only GTR version as McLaren did with the P1 and P1 GTR.