McLaren is preparing to compete with the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 speedsters with a two-seat open car slated to be the sixth member of its Ultimate Series lineup, Autocar reports. Unlike the other Ultimate cars, the Senna and the Speedtail, it will be focused on real-world driving enjoyment, rather than maximum track speed.
It doesn't have a name yet, and though McLaren has made spyders before, the new car will start out as a pure open car, rather than a convertible variant of an existing model. The anticipated spyder’s styling is said to be inspired by open-cockpit prototype racers.
The new speedster, according to Autocar's source, will have a more “fluid” take on McLaren's design themes, with flowing exterior styling heavily influencing the look of the interior. It will, however, feature McLaren's brand-identifying dihedral doors, albeit low profile ones.
Although the new McLaren will be focused on the street, not the track, it will still have the agile handling and tactile driver response for which the brand is renowned.
As with other current McLarens, the new car will be powered solely by a version of the company's twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, with no hybridization or electrification. Power will likely be down from the Senna's 789 horsepower, but because the as-yet unnamed spyder will slot into McLaren's Ultimate series, it will likely have more power than is available in the Sport and Super series cars.
Autocar says that the new speedster will weigh less than the 2641-pound Senna, attributing the lower weight to the lack of a roof; but often open cars weigh more than their closed cousins because the lack of a roof requires additional reinforcements elsewhere. The extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the body likely does more to reduce weight than removing the roof.
It is expected to be more exclusive than the Senna, with fewer models produced than the 500 tributes to Ayrton, and it will probably cost about what the Monza SP1 and SP2 will run (about $1.86 million each).
No launch date has been leaked, but Autocar speculates the spyder will probably have to wait until after McLaren builds the last Senna GTRs and the 106 Speedtails it has planned, so assembly will likely start late next year or in early 2021.