Known internally as the McLaren P14, the 650S's successor will arrive in 2018 with even more extreme styling than that of the P1 hypercar
McLaren will replace its current 650S models with an all-new supercar in 2018, and now the model has been spotted testing in Southern Europe.
It's clear to see influence on the new model from the P1 hypercar, but the brand's logo-shaped headlights seem to be gone, in favour of more conventional units, with ultra-powerful LEDs
Previous images surfaced of the car testing on Dutch website Auto Wereld.
Currently referred to as the P14, the new model forms part of the British manufacturer’s commitment to launch a new model every year, including hybrid models for the first time.
The car will feature McLaren’s carbonfibre tub - albeit in developed form - and 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine, although its power output will be extended beyond the 641bhp of the 650S
Peak power of 660bhp would match the P14’s closest current rival, the Ferrari 488 GTB, and still allow the 675LT to top McLaren’s Super Series range. However, because the 675LT is limited to just 500 units, McLaren may choose to surpass that car’s 666bhp output as well.
To beat the Ferrari, McLaren will have to ensure the P14 can reach 62mph in less than 3.0sec and achieve a top speed of more than 205mph.
While the P14’s styling, shown for the first time in the new spy pictures, has similarities with other McLaren models, it represents a big shift from the company's recent products and will set the design template for its next batch of models.
Autocar contacted McLaren for comment on the pictures, and the Woking firm denied that this was a P14, instead saying "This is a prototype mule that’s being used for testing and development for new technology".
However, our sources remain convinced this is a P14 prototype.
McLaren design director Frank Stephenson has already said the P14 will be “even crazier” than the P1 hypercar, and the company’s established hallmarks, such as its distinctive side-mounted air intakes and front bumper design, look to have been ditched for a new design.
An open-top variant is also planned and, like today’s 650S Spider, it will feature a folding hard-top roof. Although the 650S Spider was launched at the Geneva motor show in 2014 alongside the 650S Coupé, McLaren’s current launch strategy means the convertible P14 is likely to be seen around a year after the coupé goes on sale.
Prices for the P14 are expected to rise over those of the current 650S, which is £198,000 in coupé form and £215,250 as a convertible.