McLaren has confirmed it is to produce a three-seat successor to the iconic F1 supercar. Dubbed by the Woking company as a "Hyper GT", the car has been teased via a top-down image appearing to show a modern take on the F1's three-seat layout, with the driver sitting in the middle.
Just 106 examples will be built – the same as the F1 in the 1990s – and, as is unfortunately the way these days, all have been sold despite not even a prototype yet existing. Unnamed for now, the car currently carries the codename BP23, which stands for Bespoke Project 2, three seats. The news comes during the first press day of the 2016 LA Auto Show.
The car will be built by the company's MSO (McLaren Special Operations) division, which is currently responsible for tailoring the firm's road cars to customers' exact needs. As a result, every one of the 106 hyper GT cars will be truly unique. Each customer will get to work with MSO on colour, interior trim and other aspects of personalisation.
But where the F1 was built to be the ultimate driver's supercar, McLaren says its predecessor will be designed for longer journeys, but with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain to provide hypercar performance. That powertrain will comprise a version of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 used by all other McLarens (apart from, ironically, the F1), along with an electric motor.
Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, said: "We are calling BP23 a 'Hyper-GT' because it's a car designed for longer journeys but with the high levels of performance and driver engagement expected of any McLaren. A hybrid powertrain will make it one of the most powerful McLarens yet created but the car will also deliver the highest level of refinement, enabling significant journeys to be undertaken with up to three people aboard."
There has been no word on power output, although falling between McLaren's 666-horsepower 675LT and the 903hp P1 is likely. A price tag of at between £1m and £2m is also expected. McLaren has told customers there will be no open-top or track-focused version.
Design work has already begun on the car, but for now McLaren is only publicly showing the image above which, just about, reveals the seating configuration, a mid-engine layout, high haunches and a tapered nose. Upwards-lifting doors are also expected, matching the rest of the McLaren range and those of the F1.
The car is expected to hit the road at around the same time as hypercars by Mercedes AMG and a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull. Both cars are set to borrow heavily from Formula One technology, with Mercedes even saying its car will be powered by an actual F1 engine and hybrid power unit. Meanwhile, the Aston Martin-Red Bull is claimed to be able to lap the Silverstone race circuit as quickly as an F1 car.
The news comes a day after McLaren group CEO and chairman Ron Dennis lost control of the company after 35 years in charge. Dennis, who retains a 25% stake in the company, was a key member of the team who developed the original F1 road car of the 1990s.