From its carbon-fiber body to its gold-lined engine bay, the McLaren F1 had many distinctive features. But possibly the most distinctive was its three-seat cockpit layout, which placed the driver in the middle for a racecar-like feel.
McLaren is planning an F1 successor, and so far its at least got that detail right. Following in the tire tracks of both the F1 and the more recent P1 hybrid, McLaren’s next limited-edition supercar will be what the company describes as a “Hyper-GT,” a high-performance car built for long-distance driving. And just like the F1, it will be a three-seater in which the driver sits front and center.
The car is codenamed McLaren BP23, for “Bespoke Project 2,” as well as the three-abreast seating arrangement. Production will be limited to just 106 units — matching the total production run of the F1 — all of which have already been sold in spite of a price tag of around $2 million. Like the more recent P1, the BP23 will feature a hybrid powertrain, although McLaren isn’t divulging any technical details at this time. Unlike the P1, though, it will have a slick triple-barrel exhaust, and that’s definitely a good thing. McLaren also recently confirmed that the BP23 will eclipse the 243-mph top speed of the F1, making it the fastest McLaren road car ever.
With all of the references to the F1, it’s certain that the BP23 will be another mid-engined supercar. But McLaren claims it will be more comfortable and hospitable than its previous efforts. The company has already tried this softer approach with the 570GT, a version of the entry-level 570S supercar that McLaren intended to be better-suited to longer trips. It even made the 570GT a hatchback, to allow for more luggage space.
It’s unclear whether the BP23 will be a hatchback. In a press release announcing the car, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt would only say that the BP23 will have a “streamlined, shrink-wrapped carbon fiber body of great elegance.” It will also have the same “dihedral” doors used on every other current McLaren, but they will be power-operated for the first time. Preview images show the company stuffed BP23 hardware in a modified 720S body to put the car through its paces without prematurely revealing what it will look like.
McLaren will publicly reveal the vehicle at the end of this year, with initial deliveries planned for 2019. When the car goes into production, it won’t be called BP23, though. Like the recently-unveiled Senna, McLaren will give it a real name rather than an alphanumeric designation. Customers will work with the company’s McLaren Special Operations personalization division to customize things like paint colors and trim as the individual cars are built. Meanwhile, the rest of us have what looks like another exciting new supercar to drool over. Stay tuned.
Update: Added information on price, top speed, name.