First shots emerge of McLaren BP23 development mule

The first photos of the McLaren BP23 development mule have been released by McLaren and they reveal quite a bit about the car. The spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 of the 1990s, the BP23 promises to be the fastest McLaren ever, but it will be a grand tourer and will not be track focused. That means McLaren likely won’t chase lap times for its “fastest” claim. We’re guessing 0-100 kph or top speed might be the company’s measuring sticks. That would mean the BP23 would have to beat the P1’s 2.8-second 0-100 kph time or the F1’s 240-mph top speed.

“It’s just faster—that’s all we’re saying at the minute,” Andy Palmer, McLaren’s Ultimate Series line director, told AutoCar. “The goal of this car is to give customers the ability to have a high level of luxury, bespoke elements on the car, high performance, high speed—a very much road-focused grand tourer.”

BP23 stands for “bespoke, project two, three seater.”

McLaren BP23 development mule

McLaren BP23 development mule

The car will be a hybrid, featuring the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 from the 720S with electric motors to send output skyrocketing. The McLaren P1, another hybrid, made 903 horsepower. Expect more than that. 

The car shown is clearly based on the 720S, but it features a 1+2 layout like the F1. That means the carbon fiber tub has to be significantly altered to make room for those rear seat passengers. “The center seat is an amazing thing,” Palmer told Autocar. “The attraction is not only the driving position, but you can take two passengers and luggage on a long journey. I’ve been sitting in the back and it’s not a bad place to be.”

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McLaren says the BP23 will be the most aerodynamic road car to date. One trick it may use to improve aerodynamics is digital mirrors enabled by cameras.

McLaren teased the MP23 in March with illustrations, saying that it would be faster and more powerful than the P1.

The BP23, or whatever it is eventually called, is set to ship to customers in 2019. Only 106 will be built, just like the original F1, and about 30 will come to America. U.S. buyers will have to license their cars as “show and display” vehicles to drive them on public roads. The price is reportedly around $1.9 million.

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