McLaren is going to introduce an all new entry-level supercar that will compete with established brand models like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 with a price tag in the neighborhood of €89,000 or $114,000.
This is new territory for the British carmaker but this is part of the plan to expand McLaren Automotive (the division responsible for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and the original F1 road car) into a production manufacturer. Currently in the works is the Ferrari F430 rival P11.
An advanced, high-end flagship that will resurrect the spirit of the original F1 supercar is forthcoming as well. In the next five years McLaren intends to build several thousand units from its plant in Woking, Surrey.
It will be patterned after the same RWD chassis as the P11 and it will come in a composite body and will be quite compact (a bit smaller than the Audi R8). Frank Stephenson, former Fiat and Ferrari designer and installed styling director at McLaren Automotives, is working on several project ranges which include this car. Advance images show the influence of the P11 on the car together with design cues from the original F1 which was designed by Peter Stevens.
To keep pricing at the minimum and to prevent it from competing with the turbocharged P11 it will most likely come with the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 derived from the Mercedes' AMG division. The car weighs 1,300 kg and comes with 450bhp ensuring optimized performance.
Sprint time is 4.5 seconds for 0-60mph and maximum speed is pegged at 195mph. Standard on the vehicle will be a semi-auto gearbox, steering-wheel mounted paddles and carbon ceramic brakes. The car is still a long way off and may not appear before 2012.