Spied: 2015 McLaren F1

What It Is: A prototype of McLaren’s sequel to the legendary F1 supercar. The original F1, produced in the 1990s, was an exotic among exotics. It featured a 618-hp BMW V-12, lots of carbon fiber, and a $1,000,000 price tag. This F1 successor, due for 2015, is expected to deliver performance on par with the mightiest supercars out there, including the Bugatti Veyron and the Lamborghini Aventador.

Why It Matters: McLaren’s first F1 was the car in the ’90s that every kid had a poster of, so any car developed to succeed it is noteworthy, to say the least. The new car will give McLaren a second, more lust-worthy model; the MP4-12C is a hugely competent, yet reserved take on the exotica formula. (It recently won a three-car comparison test with the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911 GT2 RS.) This supercar could be McLaren’s next shot at poster fame, but it will face stiff competition from Ferrari’s equally anticipated Enzo replacement.

Platform: Our most recent intel suggests the F1 successor could utilize a modified version of the MP4-12C’s carbon-fiber chassis. These spy photos show that the new car may be slightly larger than the MP4-12C; its passenger compartment looks to be about the same size as that car’s, but its rear deck is much longer and more flat. (The car’s profile appears to closely resemble that of the original F1, actually.) Like the original McLaren supercar, its successor features a central exhaust; this one has a high-mount exit. The new car, though, will abandon the 1+2 seating layout for a more conventional setup.

Powertrain: The new model will be powered by a modified and potentially larger version of the MP4-12C’s twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V-8. It probably goes without saying that it will be more powerful than the 593-hp MP4-12C. A Formula 1–style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) will allow the McLaren to re-capture energy under braking and store it in either a flywheel or a battery. That energy can then power an electric motor that can aid the V-8 under acceleration.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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