Some rumors are surfacing about McLaren's plans for the future. Aside from the new F1, there's some chatter about the company's secretive P11 and P8 projects.
Rumors are flying around today about a possible successor to the McLaren F1. The company is supposedly planning a 1,000 unit-per-year run on a new supercar that could begin production by 2011.
Aside from the new F1, Autoweek is reporting on two upcoming new McLaren models, including the McLaren P11. Pegged to compete with the Ferrari F430, the P11 could come to market within a couple of years at a price around $200,000. "The P11 is the building block for the whole of the McLaren automotive range," said Frank Stephensen, McLaren Automotive Design chief. Another sportscar, called the P8, could be out by around 2015. The Porsche 911 competitor may lead McLaren to up production to 4,000 vehicles per year.
The McLaren exec was once in charge of development on the new Fiat 500, the new MINI Cooper, the Maserati MC12, and the BMW X5. From his track record it would not be surprising to see him try to produce iconic vehicles for McLaren that are both unique and innovative.
Stephensen has said that the F1 replacement will have a top speed of about 240 mph. Previous reports have said the car will have a mid-mount, roughly 6-liter V8 engine. Ceramic brakes will likely be needed on a car like the new F1. Implying that the development is far from finished, Stephensen said, "I am looking at a clean sheet of paper for the F1 replacement, and we are still trying to see what directions we want it to go in, in terms of its design."
But the F1 replacement may not be as important as the newer models. "The P11 is the building block for the whole of the McLaren automotive range," Stephensen said. We look forward to seeing what comes from McLaren's deeper push into commercial sales.