This McLaren P11 prototype spotted testing at the Nurburgring last week is believed to have been shaking down the new British supercar’s revolutionary suspension system, which insiders say features breakthrough technologies.
Although McLaren won’t yet give details of its new suspension, Autocar understands the set-up gives the P11 a new level of versatility, allowing all of the cornering body control needed by a 200mph ‘son of McLaren F1’, yet delivering unprecedented levels of ride comfort for a car of this type.
Woking bosses insist that the P11 should be completely viable as a day-to-day driving machine, in contrast to its illustrious but hardcore predecessor.
The P11, which has an all-new monocoque carbonfibre chassis that draws heavily on McLaren Racing’s Formula One experience, is said to be powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine with a twin-clutch, paddle-shift gearbox.
Early reports suggested the car would use an AMG-developed engine, but latest indications are that the engine is completely new in design, smaller and more fuel efficient than AMG’s big-capacity units. It is also understood to be made entirely in the UK.
Power output is certain to be between 500bhp and 600bhp, but the real key to the car’s 200mph-plus performance — and impressive fuel efficiency — is certain to be its light weight, delivered by the extensive use of carbonfibre in its construction.
Initial estimates are that the car will weigh between 1300kg and 1400kg, making it at least 200kg lighter than most mid-engined rivals and on a par with the less powerful Porsche 911.
The new McLaren aims to compete head to head with the forthcoming Ferrari 458 Italia, although it is likely to be slightly more expensive than the Italian car at around £170,000. The first P11 is scheduled to be delivered to its owner early in 2011.
Full details of the Woking-developed car will be revealed in next week’s issue of Autocar..