Twenty years ago the McLaren built the F1 – the greatest supercar of its era. Fast forward to today and the British car maker has signalled its intention to set a new benchmark with the McLaren P1.
McLaren doesn't simply want the P1 to be its new flagship, sat above the MP4-12C, it also wants it to be 'the best driver's car in the world on road and track'. No small challenge, considering the competition from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
"The McLaren P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage," explains Ron Dennis, executive chairman of McLaren Automotive. "Twenty years ago we raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1 and our goal with the McLaren P1 is to redefine it once again."
McLaren has yet to release any figures on the P1 but we can take an educated guess it's going to be very well endowed in the performance department. Sources claim it will have in the region of 800-960bhp and a Formula 1-style KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) overtaking button.
It should be capable of well over 200mph but challenging the Bugattis of this world is apparently not a priority for McLaren. Antony Sheriff, managing director of McLaren Automotive, said: "Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit... Our goal is to make the McLaren P1 the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made."
It certainly looks the part. The P1 has a sizeable air-scoop on the roof of the car, reminiscent of the track-oriented McLaren F1 LM. Then there's the giant, angular diffuser at the rear, a central exhaust outlet that's large enough to get lost in and plenty of menacing black carbon fibre to break up that eye-catching golden orange paintwork.
We've no official information on pricing as yet, but don't be surprised if this thing commands north of £800,000. More pictures and information will follow.