Having squeezed just about every derivative out of the 570S possible - a softer ‘GT’, a Spider, three track versions, a racing car, a lower-powered one, multiple limited editions - McLaren is now turning its attention to the supercar’s successor.
The car you see here might look like a current-generation McLaren Sports Series machine, but you only need to glance at the big ‘MV614 HYBRID PROTOTYPE’ lettering on the side to know there’s something else hiding under that bodywork. It’s quite refreshing that McLaren isn’t bothered if the world knows what it’s up to.
We can still indulge ourselves in a little harmless speculation, however, as the internal combustion component of the next-gen Sport Series car is still an unknown. It could use the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that made its debut in the McLaren GT, although it is rumoured that it’ll shirk the layout used by every one of Woking’s cars in the modern era and instead be powered by a V6.
Dropping a couple of cylinders sounds fairly sacrilegious on paper, but such a move would help give the Sports Series family more of its own identity. Plus, it’ll make for a lighter engine, offsetting the inevitable weight gain of a plug-in hybrid system. And we all know how McLaren loves lightness.
The most interesting spy shot of the lot is arguably the one of the cabin. Not because it reveals anything in terms of interior design - as an early mule, all that’s in there is a 570S dashboard with some holes in it. No - the key detail is on the new digital instrument cluster.
Zoom in, and you’ll spot a small rendering of a car that definitely isn’t a 570S. This gives us a good idea of how the next Sport Series is going to look, and although the resolution isn’t the best, we’re digging what we can see. The 720S-like front end is a nice touch in particular.
Another detail that stands out in these images is the exhaust system. While the current Sport Series cars - 600LT aside - have tailpipes that exit down by the diffuser, this mule’s outlets sit between the rear light clusters, much like a 720S. The placement will play a big role in how the rear end is styled.
We can’t be sure whether or not the car will be revealed in full this year, although it is expected that the second-generation 570S will go on sale in 2021. Followed by a Spider, several track versions, an LT, limited editions…