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2015 McLaren P13 details revealed

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700

McLaren is not officially talking about its next car yet, other than to say it’s in the pipeline under the internal codename of P13. But having spent the last few days trying out the new 650S supercar, we have managed to gather a few intriguing details.

The P13 – which won’t be called the P13 when it goes on sale – will join the McLaren range as an entry-level model, priced at around about £120,000. This will put it into direct competition with the Porsche 911 Turbo. Tough, but not as far-fetched as it may seem.

2015 McLaren P13 to take on Porsche 911 Turbo

McLaren has already established a reputation for producing supercars that are surprisingly easy to use. Many 12C customers can and do drive their cars every day, the lightweight engineering and high-tech ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system making for impressive efficiency and comfort (relatively speaking).

This makes 911 Turbo customers a natural target for the next McLaren. But what would they be getting for their money? Quite a lot, it seems.

2015 McLaren P13 technical spec

The P13 will be based on several established McLaren technologies. This includes a specific version of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine that features in the rest of the line-up – down-tuned (or perhaps retuned), but still producing around 500hp – and a second-generation carbonfibre MonoCell structure.

Both the PCC system and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox are also likely to make the transition. The P13 will definitely debut as a two-seater, mid-engined sports car with rear-wheel drive, as McLaren is maintaining a heavy emphasis on driving enjoyment above all other elements.

2015 McLaren P13 body styles

Interestingly, however, when discussing proposed body styles (of which there are expected to be several, starting with conventional Coupe and Spider variants), McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt revealed a desire to offer increased practicality over time – this is intended to be an even more useable car than the 12C.

Disappointingly, he also laughed when we suggested a shooting brake version. But this might prelude some kind of 2+2 later on.

That said, the talk of improved practicality would appear to be at odds with what McLaren designer Frank Stephenson let slip about the new car. Showing us around the styling of the 650S on the launch, he said the P13 would make the 12C and 650S (which are fundamentally the same) look “huge”.

Either way, expect a family resemblance to the P1 hypercar.

2015 McLaren P13 to debut at Geneva Motor Show?

Put all of this together and you’ve got the makings of something special. The P13 will be less powerful but lighter than the 12C, more affordable (again, relatively speaking), and more usable.

It sounds like quite something to look forward to – especially as Ferrari has confirmed it has no plans to produce anything below the California T, which is set to cost around £160,000.

Given that McLaren Automotive chairman Ron Dennis has already confirmed the company will be releasing at least one new or significantly revised product every year for the foreseeable future, we can expect to see the P13 as early as 2015, probably at the Geneva Motor Show.

What else does the future hold for McLaren Automotive?

Whatever the P13 turns out to actually be called – and expect a name that’s easy to understand, like 650S, not obscure and techy, like MP4-12C – it should result in a significant sales boost for McLaren.

But like Ferrari, Flewitt is adamant that production will be capped to maintain exclusivity. And a cheaper McLaren model is unlikely. The Automotive arm of the business turned a profit for the first time in 2013, and this trend is now expected to continue.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be a more expensive McLaren, however. Following the P13, McLaren is already understood to be working on another supercar. Codenamed – you guessed it – P14, this is intended to bridge the gap between the 650S and the P1 at an estimated price of £400,000.

On Bing: see pictures of the McLaren P13
Find out how much a used McLaren costs on Auto Trader
McLaren 650S supercar review (2014 onwards)
21 reasons why the McLaren P1 will rewrite the supercar rulebook
McLaren: carbonfibre pioneers
Read a McLaren review on MSN Cars

By CJ Hubbard, contributor, MSN Cars