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“The power-to-weight goal is to eclipse any other car with three seats or more. But at the same time, this will be the most refined McLaren ever sold,” said the source.
The Autocar road test of the 650S delivered a 0-60mph time of 3.2sec, 0-100mph in 6.3sec and 30-70mph in 2.2sec. Tuning and trimming the car for cross-continental travel is likely to mean that it won’t eclipse the focused McLaren 675LT for performance, despite its power advantage. It is also unlikely a more extreme track version of the new F1 will be made.
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To emphasise the new F1’s dual remit of supercar pace and GT-style comfort and refinement, it is understood that the car’s Proactive Chassis Control system — a feature on McLaren road cars — will be retuned with a focus on ride comfort, while the interior will be entirely bespoke.
The cabin will mix nods to the F1’s heritage with ultra-modern materials and finishings to create a luxurious feel in line with the car’s cross-country goal. A bespoke luggage set is also said to be among the standard equipment.
The car’s high-end design ambitions are said by our insider to give the interior a look “closer to a piece of art than a car”. It is rumoured that the entire switchgear will be bespoke and customers will be able to select from a huge range of finishes and materials, making it almost certain that no two cars will be the same.
As such, the car is being billed as a showpiece for the technical and design prowess of the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) division.
A bespoke version of McLaren’s carbonfibre monocage is understood to be under development to enable a central driving position and space for a passenger either side of the driver, as made famous by the original F1. The monocage was first developed for the P1 and is itself a development of the monocell that is the basis for every other production McLaren road car.
The car’s final look is uncertain beyond the F1 references, but the design team has been briefed to apply a carbonfibre body that looks shrink-wrapped over the interior and mechanical parts to convey “extreme elegance”.
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Our insider added: “It takes McLaren’s current language into a new arena. There are lots of nods to the F1, but this is not a retro car. It’s relevant to the modern day.”
The renderings you see here, although speculative, signify our belief that the car’s GT credentials will not be allowed to compromise that look in any way, even around the rear.
Another key element will be the exhaust outlets, which are expected to be mounted high in the rear bodywork to leave the rear diffuser section clear and give the rear end a clean look. McLaren bosses are said to have pushed the design team to give the new car all of the visual drama of the original F1.
The three-seat layout is believed to have been long requested by customers of MSO in order to allow them to “take McLaren ownership even further”. MSO was set up in 2011 to provide “everything from bespoke customisation options through to building ultra-exclusive limited-edition or one-off models”.