McLaren MP4-12C, né P11, latest (2011)

Published: 11 December 2007

Click here to see the NEW McLaren P11 supercar spy photos

McLaren has taken dozens of orders for its new P11 supercar, CAR has learned. A special department at the F1 team and road cars’ Woking headquarters has launched a register of interest where potential customers can sign up for the new 200mph slingshot from Surrey.

Codenamed P11, the new sports car is designed to extend McLaren’s racetrack expertise to a wider audience. While today’s SLR, jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and widely considered a disappointment, costs an eye-watering £320,000, McLaren’s new baby will cost somewhere between £150-200k. A relative bargain then. Click ‘Next’ below to read the full story.

McLaren P11: the full story

Forget the P11 project code; McLaren’s next supercar will carry a new, as yet unknown, name when it launches in 2010. CAR has spoken to engineers involved in the project and seen documents from the official McLaren Development Plan to compile the definitive dossier on McLaren’s new baby.

Like Lewis Hamilton’s company car, the P11 will use the latest materials. McLaren Automotive, Woking’s road car division, is advertising in the trade for dozens of new jobs working on the project, including engineers ‘with experience in carbonfibre and aluminium’.

There’s no word on a kerb weight yet, but you’d expect McLaren to undercut rivals cars such as the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. That means around 1200kg – and electrifying performance from the proposed Mercedes-sourced V8. Click ‘Next’ to find out just how fast it will be.

What else do we know about the baby McLaren?

Merc owns 40 percent of McLaren, don’t forget, making a German lump the most likely powerplant. The firm’s AMG-fettled 6.3 is one contender to nestle amidships driving the rear wheels; with around 500bhp, it would provide the necessary firepower to make 0-60mph in less than four seconds a certainty.

This is a pure-bred two-seater and those who’ve seen the car in the clay reckon it’s deliciously small. They talk of a car that looks somewhere between the Audi TT and R8 supercar in dimensions. It’ll be exclusive, too – McLaren plans to build fewer than 5000 a year at its Woking HQ.

Company chairman and the man who pulls the strings, Ron Dennis, is keen to leverage the maximum connection between the P11 and his successful F1 cars. So carbon brakes are de rigeur, the alloy wheels are lightweight five-spokers, and the shape is distinctly honed in the wind tunnel. We’ve seen official documents outlining the design and can attest to the accuracy of our artist’s impressions – right down to the double-tick air vents scalloped into the flanks. There’s also a shark-gill cooling vent built into the rearmost side window.

Who needs to copy leaked blueprints from Ferrari when the McLaren road car looks this good? 

When can I buy a McLaren P11?

When CAR rang posing as a customer, a McLaren official confirmed that our launch date of 2010 is accurate. So we’ll have to wait a while longer before we learn the full details of this most exciting sports car for a generation.

Rest assured, CAR Online will be the first to bring you the full story on the P11. Two years sounds a long time to wait, but we reckon it’ll be worth holding on so you can clamber into the Conran-designed interior.

Supercar speculator Tom Hartley Jnr reckons the P11 will be one of the hottest cars on the planet in 2010. ‘It will be right up there with the cars that create the biggest splash at launch,’ he said. ‘We expect it to cost around £195,000 – and you’ll probably be able to command a £20k-30k premium in the first few months. It will be very much in demand.’

When can I buy a McLaren P11?

When CAR rang posing as a customer, a McLaren official confirmed that our launch date of 2010 is accurate. So we’ll have to wait a while longer before we learn the full details of this most exciting sports car for a generation.

Rest assured, CAR Online will be the first to bring you the full story on the P11. Two years sounds a long time to wait, but we reckon it’ll be worth holding on so you can clamber into the Conran-designed interior.

Supercar speculator Tom Hartley Jnr reckons the P11 will be one of the hottest cars on the planet in 2010. ‘It will be right up there with the cars that create the biggest splash at launch,’ he said. ‘We expect it to cost around £195,000 – and you’ll probably be able to command a £20k-30k premium in the first few months. It will be very much in demand.’

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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