McLaren just won’t quit teasing us. This past November McLaren Special Operations, the division of McLaren Automotive that handles customization of customer vehicles, told the world that they were moving forward with plans to build a successor to the legendary F1.
This revelation came just four months or so after CEO Mike Flewitt categorically denied that there was any such plan, saying that it didn’t make business sense for McLaren.
Along with the November disclosure, McLaren also released a teaser sketch that featured a mere nine lines, but appeared to be a conceptual bird’s-eye view of the new car. We now have another drawing but not much more information.
Given the moniker BP23, the project will utilize the iconic three-seat configuration first used by the F1, with a driver sitting front and center between two passenger seats, which will be located rearward and outboard of the pilot. It will also feature a hybrid powertrain, which we’re assuming will be an evolution of the current P1 hybrid system.
Observers would rightfully question if there’s enough room in the market for another hypercar – McLaren refers to the BP23 as a hyper-GT because of its touring aspirations, but it’s still a hypercar – with so many spectacular examples either on the market or incoming. Cars such as the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918, Aston Martin Valkyrie, Mercedes Project One and Koenigsegg Agera are but a few of the either current or in-the-pipeline cars that will stand as rivals to the BP23.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter how much the non-buying rabble question the wisdom of producing yet another car built solely for the hyper-rich collector. McLaren released their plans and proceeded to sell all of them a full two years before they will be released. For those who care about exclusivity numbers, that means they’ve taken deposits for 106 copies of the new vaporcar, a car which currently only exists, literally, on paper, in press releases and vague sketches. Why 106 cars? It seems so random, but it’s not. It exactly matches the number of F1s that were originally built.
Given the following McLaren has from collectors, it’s not surprising that they’re sold out already, even if they are expected to cost significantly more than a million dollars apiece. In the rarified air of hypercar owners a million dollars isn’t much to pay for an exclusive car that will undoubtedly appreciate in value immediately upon delivery.
We expect to see a prototype car show up sometime next year. I’m guessing it will be just under a year before it bows, given McLaren’s tendency to do big releases at Geneva. Deliveries are slated to begin some time in 2019.