The countdown to the launch of McLaren's long-awaited second supercar has begun. Early prototypes of the final design began shakedown tests in mid-April.
Codenamed P11, the first of a number of versions of the new McLaren is expected to roll into showrooms in March 2010, although it's expected to be unveiled in autumn 2009. The P11 will be followed by both open-top and hardcore versions of the base model.
Insiders say the mid-engined car will be pitched as a rival for the £130k Ferrari F430. The P11 is also said to be noticeably lighter and more compact than the competition.
It will be powered by a 550bhp V8 engine which some sources say will be built by Mahle (which bought out the old Cosworth business) in Northamptonshire. It's thought that the McLaren engine will be based on an existing Mercedes unit.
Insiders in Germany say that production of the Mercedes McLaren SLR will be closed down by the middle of next year. This will clear the way for the P11 production system to be installed at McLaren's Woking facility.
The Spider version of the P11 is expected to appear in March 2011. There's scant information on this model, which is still in the development phase, but it is expected to have a proper folding fabric roof.
The summer of 2011 should see the ultimate expression of the new McLaren supercar going on sale. Project P12, which should cost around £250,000 in today's money, is said to be a much more hardcore, driver-focused interpretation of the P11. It's also likely to be the version closest to the spirit of the iconic McLaren F1.
According to internal McLaren documents finalised last year, a V10 engine delivering over 600bhp will power the P12. The rest of the car will be stripped down and re-engineered for ultimate weight saving.
206-MPH Super Sports GT Goes Topless
DETROIT, MI – A roadster version of the formidable SLR McLaren super sports coupe is in the spotlight at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. Powered by a supercharged 5.5-liter, 617-hp AMG V8 engine, the SLR McLaren Roadster boasts 0-60 mph acceleration of only 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 206 mph.
2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster
Showcasing Formula 1 technology for the street, the SLR McLaren Roadster's carbon fiber monocoque provides high torsional rigidity for outstanding handling as well as unparalleled protection in collisions. U.S. deliveries of the new roadster model began in Fall 2007.
A Convertible Top Designed for High-Speed Driving
Thanks to its fully retractable top, the SLR Roadster offers open-air driving pleasure that's practical for everyday use. Available in three different color combinations, the retractable top of the new SLR Roadster blends into its aerodynamic silhouette, and newly developed roof material makes the cabin relatively quiet with the top up. Even with the top down, conversation is still possible at well over 120 mph, thanks to its superior aeroacoustics.
The semi-automatic roof opens by simply unlatching it from the windshield frame and raising the top slightly, after which an electric motor folds it away in less than ten seconds.
In the wind tunnel, the SLR Roadster has been optimized for remarkable levels of aerodynamic efficiency, handling, and aeroacoustics at high speeds. The new SLR Roadster even inherits two aerodynamic features from the SLR coupe – an active airbrake integrated in the trunk lid and a diffuser in the rear bumper that provides increased downforce to the rear of the car.
A Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Collaboration
The SLR McLaren Roadster showcases the collective experience of Mercedes-Benz and its Formula 1 partner McLaren in the development and production of high-performance sports cars. This unique combination of expertise is evident not only in the pioneering developments and impressive performance of the SLR, but also in its high levels of safety and practicality.
While celebrating the formidable SLR race cars of the 1950s, the launch of Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren coupe marked a new era for high-technology, high-performance cars. Like the SLR coupe, the new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster unites the legend of the highly successful SLR race cars from the 1950s with the innovative technology of modern Formula 1 vehicles from the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racing team. With a unique front mid-engine design that provides optimum weight distribution, the open two-seater features a carbon-fiber racing-type monocoque chassis and high-performance ceramic composite brake discs for remarkable braking.
Distinctive stylistic elements such as the arrow-shaped nose of the Formula 1 Silver Arrow establish a visual link with the F1 race cars. The SLR legend of the 1950s lives on stylistically in the distinctive lateral louvers, side pipes behind the front wheels and wide-opening gull-wing doors.
A Carbon-Fiber Monocoque
One dramatic example of technology transfer from Formula 1 racing is the carbon fiber composite material of the SLR body, which provides rigidity and strength never before achieved in a street car. Apart from two aluminium engine frames, its body is made entirely of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials – still an unusual feature among high-performance sports cars. The result is low weight, extremely high occupant safety as well as a degree of torsional rigidity not possible in traditional open-top vehicles.
Posted by sato at 8:13 AM