The worst kept secret in the entire car world is that McLaren is releasing a successor to the F1 very, very soon. At Pebble Beach, some well-to-do enthusiasts saw an image of the car, called the P12, and they're starting to leak some details.
Now, McLaren reportedly has big news about "the future" coming at the Paris Motor Show later this month. That "future" is the P12. This is what you probably need to know.
Since the F1 was a no expenses spared engineering masterpiece, the P12 has some big shoes to fill. The reported leaks from people that have seen the car sure make the latest Macca sound impressive. Let's hope everything below actually ends up being true.
We had previously heard that the P12 would have a modified version of the MP4-12C's 3.8 liter V8 combined with KERS to put out around 1,000 horsepower. Sounds like those earlier rumors were close, as the P12 is purported to have 803 horsepower at a stratospheric 9,100 RPM. And it will have KERS, which is good for 160 additional horsepower at the push of a button.
Boom. 963 Horsepower.
And curbweight is supposedly under 2,700 pounds. That's gonna make for one damn good power to weight ratio. A Veyron carries 4 pounds per horsepower. The P12 will carry just 2.81. Jiminy jillikers Radioactive Man!
But for some reason, the possible acceleration numbers are a little disappointing... at first. A 0-60 run will take 2.8 seconds, which is Nissan GT-R territory. But the quarter mile will supposedly go by in just 9.1 seconds at a speed of 161 MPH. Top speed is reported to be 239 MPH, which isn't too shabby, but isn't really world beating either. But in the scheme of things, top speed is just bragging rights.
The overall package is what matters. And boy oh boy does the P12 do handling.
Like the Pagani Huayra, the P12 is supposed to have active aerodynamics and can generate 2Gs of force in the corners on street tires. There are also unconfirmed reports that it shattered the record for a street car around England's Silverstone Circuit by 24 seconds. Not 0.24 seconds. Not 2.4 seconds. But 24 whole, entire seconds.
Each P12 will reportedly be a bespoke car and styling will be "spectacular." Customers will meet with McLaren Special Operations, the same people who made the bonkers X-1, in order to spec out their cars. Apparently only 500 will be built.
Starting price? A very affordable $1,390,000.
There are also rumors that the car will actually be called the MP4-24C, will have a space frame made of munster cheese, and run on only on the tears of Lotus press officers. If you haven't figured it out yet, most of these claims are based on flaky rumors (or outright fabrications) of the sort that always precede these kinds of launches, although some might incidentally be true.
We'll see in Paris in two weeks if any of these wild guesses hit the mark. Certainly, there are enough Lotus flack tears to fill the Chunnel.