McLaren are perfecting their new sports car to complete in the market with other cars in the £100k and upwards bracket. P13 is the codename for this car that is due to arrive in 2015 and compete with the Porsche 911 turbo as well as the Mercedes GT AMG super coupe. It has recently been seen in testing in Spain.
The car may look very much like a 12C McLaren but there is one big difference and that is the front wheel that looks very strange indeed. There si a very large monobloc brake caliper with the spokes wrapped around it which may mean that the front tyre will be narrower than those normally put on the 12C. It has been confirmed to CAR by McLaren that this is a test for P13 technology which means that it could be a brake cooling system. There is also a wheel arch lip that has been grafted on which could mean that they are trying to make the front track more compact.
This car will be the entry point McLaren so below the 12C and P1 with regards to price, performance and size. It will share some components with these cars though. It is expected that the engine, for example will be the 3.8 litre V8 that is in the P1 and 12c but slightly developed. It will be retuned to perform at a more manageable level compared to the 725bhp of the P1 and the 616bhp of the 12C. The main rival for the car will be the Porsche 911 turbo which does 520bhp and goes up to 552bhp in the Turbo S version.
The Porsche 911 has rear wheel steering and all-wheel drive add a lot of weight to the car and the McLaren should be able to undercut it. It can use the carbon fibre ‘Monocell’ technology from the 12c and this could make it the lightest of all McLaren cars and still be rigid enough to make a feasible sports car.
It is likely that there will be a lot of models that stem from this P13 in the same way that the Porsche 911 does. There will be a hard top coupe to start with and then a convertible. This will still be very stiff because of the carbon fibre cell that is very strong. There are more hard core models in the pipeline as well. It is expected that there will be models to compete with the GT3 and GT3 RS offered by Porsche in the same way as the McLaren P13 Speciale which will be louder and lighter. They may even put on the GTR badge on this which has not been used since 1996 when it was put on one of the 28 racing versions of the F1 super car.
It is expected that there may also be some special editions produced by McLaren special Operations. They might put together new paintwork finishes or anything else up to a new body as in the X-1 one off model which came out in 2012.
McLaren usually puts out one variant a year and which means that the P13 range should start in 2013. It expected that the prices will start £120,000 which is around the 911 Turbo price. However, with the exciting styling and power availability they will be hoping to outsmart Porsche all the way.