Spy shots

McLaren SLS: Baby McLaren set to rival Gallardo

£100,000 Mercedes-McLaren SLS to take on Lamborghini, Ferrari and Audi R8

These pictures prove that early development work is well under way on the 'baby' McLaren, with plans to sell as many as 2000 cars a year to rival the likes of the Ferrari 360 Modena, Lamborghini Gallardo and all new Audi R8.

Although McLaren engineers are remaining tight-lipped about the project, it is believed that feasibility studies are currently being carried out on the car at one of Mercedes’ secret test-centres in Germany.

McLaren is hoping to use carbonfibre construction for the new car, although there are doubts about the economic viability of using the material for a car with a projected price tag of about 150,000 Euros.

Sources wouldn't be budged on whether the new car, thought to be code-named P8, will have a three-seat arrangement similar to that of the F1, but equally our source refused to confirm the new car as a conventional two-seater. One possibility is that the third seat would be mounted centrally towards the rear, the reverse of the F1's layout. It will be mid-engined though, partly to make it distinct from the front-engined Mercedes SLR McLaren.

And it’s already certain that the car will have to be built by Mercedes, as McLaren's new Woking factory is tied up producing the SLR and doesn't have the spare capacity. It seems that the SLR, the brainchild of Ron Dennis, was originally designed to be the definitive GT car. Ferrari's 550 Maranello was the original target car for the project but it became clear that the SLR would be in a different league when the first projected performance figures were calculated using the higher-than-expected output from the supercharged Mercedes V8. This would in fact leave space for a smaller car, probably called the Mercedes SLS McLaren.

Recommended

McLaren 765LT Spider unveiled – £310,000 Super Series flagship joins coupe
McLaren 765LT Spider – front quarter
McLaren

McLaren 765LT Spider unveiled – £310,000 Super Series flagship joins coupe

The next drop-top LT arrives in a familiar form, but with some immense numbers to back it up
27 Jul 2021
McLaren secures £550million of new investment
Woking HQ
McLaren

McLaren secures £550million of new investment

The McLaren Group has been given a vital cash injection to the tune of £550million
19 Jul 2021
McLaren Elva now available with windscreen – total production run reduced to just 149 units
McLaren Elva with a windscreen
McLaren

McLaren Elva now available with windscreen – total production run reduced to just 149 units

The £1.4m McLaren Elva can now be optioned with a traditional windscreen, and production numbers have again been slashed, to just 149 units
27 May 2021
Final McLaren 620R rolls off production line, concluding Sports Series production
McLaren 620R
McLaren

Final McLaren 620R rolls off production line, concluding Sports Series production

Production of McLaren’s road-going GT4 racer has come to a close, marking the end of the Sports Series line
24 Mar 2021

Most Popular

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal
2022 BMW M3 Touring
BMW M3

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal

BMW has released new images of its upcoming M3 Touring before it reaches customers next year
24 Sep 2021
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up
Porsche 911 GTS review (992) – front cornering
Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up

Two and a half years after the launch of the 992, the GTS treatment both adds and subtracts but does the result gel on the road?
21 Sep 2021
Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022

First examples of the new Lotus Emira will roll off the production line early next year, with the entry-level four-cylinder to follow
20 Sep 2021