The iconic McLaren F1 supercar could be reimagined before the end of the decade, complete with the three-seat layout which made the original car such a hit.
According to insiders familiar with McLaren's plans, the new car will have 700 horsepower (hp), be built in very small numbers, and cost around £2m, over twice as much as the company's current flagship, the P1.
Instead of being the fastest and most powerful car on the market, or one which can lap a racetrack quicker than any other, the new McLaren F1 is to be the ultimate GT car, a grand tourer with supercar looks and performance, but with comfort and (relative) practicality high on the agenda. Examples of this approach include the three-seat layout and a bespoke luggage set.
Speaking to Autocar, an unnamed insider said: "It applies the F1's three-seat configuration to a different need: rapid, cross-continental travel with supreme speed and style. The result will be the most exquisitely crafted and luxurious road-going McLaren yet made."
Internally, the car is being referred to as a hyper-GT vehicle, which fits somewhere between a GT cruiser and an all-out hypercar. The new F1 is said to have the same 3.8-litre, twin-turbo engine as used by the rest of the McLaren family, tuned to develop more than 700hp and produce a top speed of over 200-miles per hour.
Codenamed Bespoke Project 2, the car's power figure is down on the 903hp produced by the P1, but the new F1 is said to not include that car's hybrid-electric system. A source said: "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."
Just 64 will be built
McLaren is alleged to be building just 64 examples of the new car, the same number of road-going F1s it produced in the 1990s, and that it will launch in 2018, 30 years on from the first conversation between McLaren boss Ron Dennis, technical director Gordon Murray, part-owner of Tag, Mansour Ojjeh, and marketing boss Creighton Brown about creating the original F1.
The new car will be one of 15 new vehicles to be launched by McLaren before the year 2022, as part of its Track22 programme. This will include a convertible version of the 570S, updates to the 650S and more track-focused cars under its LT sub-brand.
It is said the new F1 will become the showpiece of McLaren Special Operations (MSO), a division inside the Woking, Surrey-based company which offers personalisation and modifications to McLaren's road cars.
MSO currently has an original F1 for sale. Chassis number 69, the car was one of the last cars sold before production ended in 1998 and has covered fewer than 2,800 miles. Costing £640,000 new, the car is said to be worth around £10m today.