Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley a year ago 34
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A New Three-Seat McLaren Is Finally Happening, But It's Not Quite What You'd Expect

A new three-seat hypercar might hark back to the McLaren F1, but the new project is set to take a softer, more relaxed approach to warp speed

Remind me later
Mclaren - A New Three-Seat McLaren Is Finally Happening, But It's Not Quite What You'd Expect - News

The long-rumoured three-seat McLaren is happening, the Woking outfit has confirmed, and we’re a bit excited.

Just 106 examples of the project codenamed BP23 will be built – not-at-all-coincidentally exactly the same number as were produced of the absolute 1990s legend, the F1. And just like in the F1, the driver will sit in the middle of the car with two passengers staggered to the side and behind the front seat.

The only teaser image released so far is an overhead design sketch, but the picture we featured back in July is one take on how the car could look.

Image: Autocar
Image: Autocar

This is no media over-exaggeration. ‘Bespoke Project 2 with 3 seats’ has been linked directly to the historic F1 by Mclaren CEO Mike Flewitt, who also confirmed the new car would wear carbonfibre panels and be designed more for elegance, luxury and long-distance cruising than maximum-attack mode on the track.

This ‘hyper-GT’ approach is an unusual one for the boys and girls at McLaren, who usually open a new model series with a focused sports car before branching off into more hardcore and more user-friendly derivatives. We can’t help but wonder whether BP23 is the start of a new model line or a change of tack post-Ron Dennis.

Mclaren - A New Three-Seat McLaren Is Finally Happening, But It's Not Quite What You'd Expect - News

It will still be one of the most powerful McLarens ever made, Flewitt says, with a lower-output hybrid drivetrain likely to be derived from that of the P1. Expect 200mph top speeds when the car is launched in 2019.

It will hang on to the McLaren signature (and awesome) dihedral doors, but all the switchgear will be unique to the car. The company’s Special Operations team will, obviously, assist each sickeningly rich buyer in personalising their car over and above the standard spec.

Want one? Join the queue. The only thing is… they’ve all been sold before the design has even been finalised. At a rumoured £2 million each. Wow.