McLaren F1 succesor gets restyle from ex-Fiat design boss
Julian Rendell
29 October 2008

The new £160k McLaren P11 supercar has been totally redesigned by ex-Fiat design boss Frank Stephenson, Autocar can reveal.

Prototypes are now in testing and a 2010 launch has been schedule for the new British supercar.

The McLaren P11 will make its debut as a two-seat, mid-engined coupe. A soft-top spider version – as previewed by this exclusive Autocar image - will follow a year later. McLaren is developing the coupe and convertible versions of the P11 alongside one another. Both are based on a carbonfibre centre tub and have aluminum front and rear subframes. One subframe carries the front suspension module, the other the engine, transmission and rear suspension assembly.

The McLaren P11’s extensive use of carbonfibre will keep its weight down to between 1300kg and 1400kg, according to Woking insiders. This means the P11 is likely to be one of the lightest cars of its kind.

McLaren has contracted German engineering firm Mahle to rework AMG’s 5.5-litre V8 engine. The heavily altered powerplant will be stripped of any AMG or Mercedes branding and rebadged as a McLaren unit when the P11 reaches showrooms.

The engine is the only common component between the McLaren P11 and Mercedes’ forthcoming front-engined gullwing-door supercar.

McLaren is bullish about future sales and production volumes, despite the current global financial downturn. Between 2010 and 2015 it intends to build 1500 examples of the £160k supercar per year. That’s a marked increase on the handful of SLRs currently assembled in Woking.

To achieve these volumes, the company must continue its global search for a factory in which to build the P11. Contract manufacturing plants across Europe are being considered, including Pininfarina in Italy, Magna in Austria and Lotus in Britain. A decision is due in the next six and nine months, say insiders.

Magna is thought to be the front-runner. It has already scooped a major supercar assembly contract for the Aston Martin Rapide, due to start in late 2009.

McLaren intends to build the P11’s carbonfibre tub at its own composite shop near Portsmouth.


Join the debate


29 October 2008

Does this mean that the leaked images are now completely obsolete, or do the leaked images show the buck of the redesigned car?

30 October 2008

Certainly doesn't break any new ground in the looks department. Yawn

30 October 2008

The rendering looks too much like the Cizeta V16 from the early 1990's. The angular shape of the windscreen, the side scoops, and all. Not to mention traces of the Lotus Esprit, the Lambo Gallardo, etc.

Frank Stephenson must have his work cut out to make the P11 pretty.

Why can't McLaren produce 300-450 of these P11 from their premises at Woking? They have made similar amounts of the McMerc SLR before. The "Built by McLaren" tag still has enormous cachet. It will not be a success if it is to be built by a contract manufacturer such as Magna. Somehow I don't think Pininfarina will be up for the job given their close relationship with Ferrari.

31 October 2008

When looking at the weight, it reminds me how amazing the McLaren F1 is, under 1200kg, 3 seats, V12, with baggage space and trick lightweight sound system, of course all under exotic materials.

2 November 2008

The yellow car in the picture looks very conservative for a car to be launched in 2010. Also, isn' t the windscreen shape impossible with a straight top edge and a curved bottom edge? How do you make that?

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