With the final run of 75 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLarens being produced now—in topless speedster form, no less—the McLaren shop will have some build space to fill soon, and this is the car that will occupy it. Initial reports had the car debuting later in 2009, perhaps at the Frankfurt auto show, but now others are suggesting that the first public viewing will be delayed until sometime in 2010, with production to begin in 2011.
Intended as a competitor to the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and Ferrari F430, the upcoming McLaren—code-named P11—will be powered by a mid-mounted V-8 rumored to be sourced from Mercedes-Benz and producing 550 hp or more. Although reports suggest turbocharging is a possibility, the 6.2-liter AMG V-8 manages up to 518 hp from the factory, so turbos aren't a necessity unless McLaren is aiming for, say, 600 hp. A V-10 has also been mentioned as a possibility, but that power level would probably be well within reach for a force-fed version of the 6.2-liter. Zero-to-60-mph times should be below four seconds, and top speed is expected to exceed 200 mph.
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