New British 911-fighter gears up for the road and racing
Prototype Maccas snapped recently
It's going to be a big week for British sports car fans as McLaren plans to reveal its all-new new mid-engined Porsche and Ferrari rival - in words and pictures at least - this Wednesday.
We're hoping for a fairly comprehensive technical overview, and lots of pictures of the new machine, so don't forget to come back for a look-see!
If you read the Sunday Times at the weekend, you'll know the car will be called the MP4-12C, as the name was revealed in an interview with McLaren boss Ron Dennis - who also announced plans to take the car racing.
Having cut his ties with F1 earlier this year, it's clear Dennis still has competitive urges: "We'll enter racing championships with racing variants of this car," he told the newspaper, giving rise to the tantalising prospect of seeing the McLaren name return to sports car racing - perhaps at Le Mans or even in the new FIA GT1 series.
The car was codenamed P11
Big Ron also let a few more crucial details slip, including the fact that the MP4-12C will have a carbon chassis, scissor-type doors, active dampers that adjust to driving conditions, and a V8 mated to a seven-speed gearbox. (The engine has been widely reported as Mercedes-Benz based.)
Designed as an 'every day' supercar, the car apparently comes with a wi-fi compatible sat-nav and hard-drive entertainment system among its creature comforts. The interior design is said to be more futuristic than the exterior which, judging by the camouflaged prototypes that have been widely 'scooped', appears to be uncontroversial.
The MP4-12C will cost as much as £150,000 according to the Sunday Times article, and McLaren expects to sell 1000 examples a year, with deliveries starting in 2011. The new machine will be joined by two McLaren siblings by 2015, including a sub-£100k entry model and a £300k-plus flagship.
Although the MP4-12C won't be appearing at the Frankfurt motor show next week, the new McLaren's reveal has presumably been timed to muddy the waters for Ferrari which will show its new 458 Italia for the first time in Germany.