Woking car maker is using a modified 720S mule for development of its fastest model yet
Matt Prior
28 September 2017

This modified 720S is the development mule for McLaren’s three-seat BP23 (standing for bespoke project two, three-seater), its forthcoming Ultimate Series grand tourer.

Just 106 BP23s, which feature a central driving seat flanked by two passenger seats, will be built when the car goes on sale in 2019, but McLaren is keen to stress that although the BP23 will be, in an unspecified manner, “the fastest ever McLaren”, its focus won’t be on the track.

“It’s just faster - that’s all we’re saying at the minute,” said Andy Palmer, McLaren’s Ultimate Series line director. “The goal of this car is to give customers the ability to have a high level of luxury, bespoke elements on the car, high performance, high speed – a very much road-focused grand tourer.”

Although the BP23 is ‘bespoke project two’, Autocar understands that another member of McLaren’s Ultimate Series line-up, the P15 track-focused sports car, will arrive before the BP23. 

The likelihood is that P15 is the third Ultimate Series car conceived but will beat the BP23 to market because of the three-seater’s complexity. BP23 will have a hybrid powertrain to augment the power of its twin-turbocharged V8 engine to vast levels, and it also needs significant changes to its carbonfibre passenger cell – which Palmer will only describe as “different” to the 720S’s – to comfortably accommodate three occupants.

“The centre seat is an amazing thing,” Palmer told Autocar. “The attraction is not only the driving position, but you can take two passengers and luggage on a long journey. I’ve been sitting in the back and it’s not a bad place to be. 

“Technology has moved on, particularly in carbon, and in our tub and in our monocell, and how we engineer that to accommodate three seats. It’s not without compromise, it’s not sitting in the back of a Mercedes S-Class, but nevertheless it’s not a huddled or tight space.” Palmer and his colleagues say that entry and egress to the BP23 is far easier than it was in the F1, too. Cameras might augment mirrors to increase visibility without compromising aerodynamics.

If lap times aren’t the way McLaren will measure the BP23’s performance (and they’re not), that leaves acceleration or top speed as the two measures by which the BP23 will be the fastest-ever McLaren. Palmer won’t be drawn on power outputs or even powertrain specifics, but beating the F1’s 240mph top speed or the P1’s acceleration figures (0-62mph in 2.8sec and 0-186mph in 16.5sec) would require an output beyond even the P1’s 903bhp. So expect a highly boosted development of the 720S’s 4.0-litre V8 engine, supplemented by a hybrid system whose primary mission will be to eliminate turbo lag. 

The car is priced at around £2 million even before each one visits McLaren Special Operations for bespoke options. All 106 cars are accounted for.

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McLaren 720S

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Comments
11

28 September 2017

This is gonna be phenomenal !!!!! Should have a V12 though

28 September 2017
Not being babyishly track obsessed is the stand out good news about this car.

That is exceptionally welcome.

28 September 2017

McLaren's task now is to make this look as coherent and distinctive as the original F1 of 1992, which, being 1/4 century old !!!, remains aesthetically far superior to any subsequent McLaren.

One good thing about McLarens is that they are relatively compact, unlike 'the bigger the better' attitude of hypercars like the bloated Avantador and worst the Mercedes SLS

28 September 2017

It needs a NA V12 of course.

 

28 September 2017

Just the thing for road use on the roads of the UK in 2017!

Get real.

1 October 2017
McJohn wrote:

Just the thing for road use on the roads of the UK in 2017!

Get real.

It would be an unbelievable achievement for McLaren to get that car all sorted and delivered to customers in the next 92 days!  ;)

28 September 2017

"but beating the F1’s 240mph top speed or the P1’s acceleration figures (0-62mph in 2.8sec and 0-186mph in 16.5sec) would require an output beyond even the P1’s 903bhp". If the much less powerful 720S is already as fast as a P1, then unless top speed is a priority, perhaps similar power to the P1 might be ample enough for the BP23 to allow it some daylight between it and the 720S if it uses some of the 720S's trickery. It still amazes me that McLaren's supercar matches their much more expensive, much more exotic and much more powerful hypercar after only a few years!

28 September 2017

Today's obsession with high-speed grip and therefore downforce, must extract a considerable aerodynamic drag penaltic penalty, considering the F1 acheived 240mph with just 627bhp whilst the new car, in order to exceed the F1's maximum, is expected to need more than 903bhp. Where is the progress?

Citroëniste.

29 September 2017
Bob Cholmondeley wrote:

Today's obsession with high-speed grip and therefore downforce, must extract a considerable aerodynamic drag penaltic penalty, considering the F1 acheived 240mph with just 627bhp whilst the new car, in order to exceed the F1's maximum, is expected to need more than 903bhp. Where is the progress?

The Veyron had to have 50% more bhp than the F1 just to go an extra 10mph or so faster, although I suspect that power was needed to overcome its hefty weight rather than the effects of drag. Bar the Koenigsegg CC8, I'm struggling to think of any other road car that has/had around 627bhp but came even remotely close to the F1's top speed. With the focus nowadays seemingly on lap times, and acceleration up to 150-200mph, the days of slippery road cars are almost a thing of the past. A F1 would probably get spanked around most circuits by current circa 627bhp car.

28 September 2017

My oh my.. Not track focused must mean focusing on straightline speed and comfort one would suppose. 0-186 mph in 13 s would count as an improvement. And yes i doubt the big mac would be completely slow couch on track. Who knows perhaps even faster than a GT 2 RS at the Nürnberg? 

 

 

/EX

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