McLaren BP23 to 'exceed' 243mph


Having rested on its laurels for a nanosecond at Geneva, McLaren put the Senna GTR unveil story to bed by revealing some more details about the next hypercar in its Ultimate Series - the BP23. Much we already knew: the model will be a petrol-electric hybrid, it will have a centrally-mounted driving position, there will only be 106 examples (all sold) and it will be the 'fastest ever McLaren'.

Now Woking has specified precisely what that means - and, as expected, it refers to the car's top speed, which will apparently exceed 243mph. Why that exact number? Shame on you - that's the peak speed that Andy Wallace hit in 1998 when driving the XP5 prototype of the F1 at the Ehra-Lessien test track (the production car world record was averaged at 240.1mph over two runs).


How far will it exceed 243mph by? Naturally McLaren is not saying, although Andy Palmer - the Ultimate Series line director - did concede that establishing the final number in practise is not likely to be easy; especially as the firm would prefer to do it on tarmac rather than a salt flat somewhere. He apparently has a solution in mind - and the fact that the venue for such a run has being playing on his mind suggests that the BP23 will significantly outdo its predecessor.

Of course, McLaren would prefer that you didn't actually think of the car as a direct replacement to the F1; its obvious similarities are intended as 'homages' rather than the standout features of a successor. Woking likes to describe the car as a 'hyper GT' because it neatly distinguishes the model from the track-focused Senna. The BP23 - or whatever it's eventually called - will also be the work of its MSO division, meaning that each car will essentially be a bespoke creation.


Given its £1.6m price tag (before taxes) that level of personalisation is not surprising, and it reinforces the idea that this will be the 'most luxurious' McLaren yet when it's revealed later this year. Based on the design sketches revealed by the company, it's also likely to be the most beautiful; the long-tail design spurning the dramatic aero package required by the Senna. We'd confidently bet all the money in our pockets that it will be the most powerful McLaren yet seen as well.

This means exceeding the P1's output, which also used a combination of twin-turbocharged V8 and electric motor to produced 916hp. That was with the engine in its 3.8-litre 737hp guise though; the Senna GTR's 4.0-litre version will develop 'more than' 825hp alone. It would not be a surprise nor a stretch of the imagination to see that figure return in the BP23 - and with Woking likely to have done considerably better with its next generation of electric motor than 178hp, it is easy to conceive of a hyper GT endowed with considerably more than 1,000hp.

Enough to start setting records? Well, that really would make it the perfect tribute to Gordon Murray's masterpiece, wouldn't it? McLaren certainly isn't committing itself to the idea though. Palmer himself pointed out that it's just a number and one liable to be beaten by someone else a week later (even without Guiness's rubber stamp) - and that manufacturers are now limited by tyre technology as much as anything. Still, here's hoping, eh...

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (72) Join the discussion on the forum

  • skilly1 09 Mar 2018

    How can McLaren produce all of these cars?! Amazing to think the MP4-12C only came out 9 years ago and now look what they are producing.

    Goes to show what can be done when you have no outdated systems, history or infrastructure in a factory / organisation.


  • Vitorio 09 Mar 2018

    Wasnt the big thing about the F1 that it was the fastest car, period.. at the time?

    Being "the fastest mclaren" seems like a less lofty goal when Bugatti is at ~267 mph

  • daveco 09 Mar 2018

    skilly1 said:
    How can McLaren produce all of these cars?! Amazing to think the MP4-12C only came out 9 years ago and now look what they are producing.

    Goes to show what can be done when you have no outdated systems, history or infrastructure in a factory / organisation.
    Because they use the same powerplant for every single car, just in different states of tune, which has to cut development costs back significantly.

    M838T has been proven to work in the P1 so this can't be that much of a stretch



  • Shiv_P 09 Mar 2018

    So their 2018/2019/2020 car will have a higher top speed than a car which set its record 20 years ago in 1998

    confused

  • Krikkit 09 Mar 2018

    Vitorio said:
    Wasnt the big thing about the F1 that it was the fastest car, period.. at the time?

    Being "the fastest mclaren" seems like a less lofty goal when Bugatti is at ~267 mph
    And Koenigsegg are 278.

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