McLaren MP4-12C, né P11, (2010) hits the Nurburgring

Published: 21 August 2009

With just weeks until the McLaren P11 – finally – shows its hand and the official photos are published, we’ve bagged the latest spy pictures of the new Macca supercar testing at the Nurburgring.

The P11 is undergoing endurance shake-downs at the ‘Ring, as Woking’s engineers hone the new V8 ahead of production. Not that there’s a rush – the cars won’t be in showrooms until 2011, CAR understands.

The McLaren P11 is still wearing its Alpine snowcat disguise!

It is indeed. But peel away those white tiger stripes and you can see the faithful outline of a classic mid-engined V8 supercar. And the McLaren ‘tick’ side vents are clearly visible, as depicted in our earlier artist’s impressions and the clay styling buck CAR revealed to the world two years ago.

CAR has closely followed the development of the new P11 since we first broke the story back in October 2007. We can’t wait to see the final car at its debut in September 2009.

McLaren Automotive, which Ron Dennis now heads up after he quit F1, employed ace designer Frank Stephenson as styling chief to craft the new range of McLaren sports cars. His is an enviable CV, including cars such as the modern BMW Mini, Fiat’s cutesy 500 and Ferrari’s F430 and 599 during his stints in Italy.

What’ll the P11 do?

It’ll ‘do’ fast very well indeed. Although no concrete details are available yet (expect more next month at the P11’s debut), we know the junior Macca will be powered by a mid-mounted V8 driving the rear wheels.

And the P11 will be a genuine tech powerhouse, showcasing McLaren’s engineering nous. As previously reported, the company has been recruiting experts in composite car production, as it gears up for its three-strong model line-up. While the P11 is pitched at the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, there will also be a supercar positioned above the P11 and more affordable models below.

Interesting times at Woking…

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet