Work is under way at McLaren on a new flagship model that is intended to eclipse every supercar to date, combining blistering performance with ultimate agility and everyday usability.

Known internally as the ‘Mega Mac’, the new car is scheduled for a 2014 launch. The production run will be limited to just 500 units. The price is expected to be between £350,000 and £400,000 in today’s money.

According to insiders, the styling of the Mega Mac will be “bigger, angrier and more functional looking” than the MP4-12C, although it will have a family resemblance to both the current car and the McLaren F1.

Watch our video review of the McLaren MP4-12C

It will also get active aerodynamics systems that include front and rear spoilers being deployed in certain conditions, in addition to the use of a rear airbrake, as seen on the MP4-12C.

Inside, the cabin will deliver impressive all-round visibility and luxuries will be kept to a minimum, with a small luggage space behind the seats. Sources say the car will be fitted with on-board data logging and a video camera to allow the driver to film his or her own track time.

At the core of the new car will an extraordinary 799bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine — that’s 160bhp per litre — which will be developed in conjunction with Ricardo.

According to insiders, maximum power will be developed at 7500rpm and 590lb ft of torque will be delivered between 3500rpm and 6800rpm. The engine will drive a Graziano seven-speed dual-clutch ’box.

According to McLaren’s internal calculations, the Mega Mac should hit 60mph in just 2.8sec, 100mph in 5.5sec and 200mph in just 20.0sec.

Although the car’s 0-60mph time is just slower than the 2.6sec Autocar obtained with the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, the Mega Mac should eclipse the Bugatti’s 0-200mph time of 22sec.

The Mega Mac will be based on a similar carbonfibre Monocell to the MP4-12C and will use similar, although extensively retuned, aluminium pushrod suspension, hydraulic anti-roll control, adaptive dampers and a five-stage traction control system.

Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes will be standard, as will Brake Steer and electronic brake force distribution.

Insiders say McLaren is considering making it possible to turn off the ABS system on race circuits. A sat-nav link would ensure that ABS could not be disabled on public roads.

The Mega Mac (whose showroom name may include the number ‘799’) will be built within the main McLaren building, rather than at the new bespoke MP4-12C factory site, at a rate of two to three per week over a three to four-year production life.

Hilton Holloway

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