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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mclaren/201759/mclaren-gt-2020-review-can-a-mid-engined-two-seater-also-be-a-fine-gt
McLaren

McLaren GT 2020 review – can a mid-engined two-seater also be a fine GT?

28 May 2020
Visit/mclaren/202656/mclaren-to-axe-1200-staff
McLaren

McLaren to axe 1200 staff

26 May 2020
Visit/mclaren/202553/mclaren-senna-among-2763-cars-recalled-due-to-fire-risk
McLaren

McLaren Senna among 2763 cars recalled due to fire risk 

29 Apr 2020
Visit/mclaren/201626/mclaren-elva-production-run-reduced-to-249-units
McLaren

McLaren Elva production run reduced to 249 units

3 Apr 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/202640/bmw-m4-competition-vs-mercedes-amg-c63-s-coupe-german-coupe-twin-test
Features

BMW M4 Competition vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe - German coupe twin test

The F82 BMW M4 is about to be put out to pasture, so does AMG’s recently fettled C63 S Coupe finally have its number?
18 May 2020
Visit/jaguar/202404/jaguar-project-8-evo-reader-experience
Advertisement Feature

Jaguar Project 8 evo reader experience

The Jaguar Project 8 is a 200mph marvel of engineering designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the thrill of driving. We put some lucky evo read…
14 Apr 2020
Visit/features/18127/the-best-six-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best six-cylinder engines ever – we pick our favourites

Six-cylinder engines can be found in cars of all kinds, good and bad. We collate the very best
13 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911/202636/porsche-911-carrera-to-be-turbo-only-as-manuals-stay
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera to be turbo only, as manuals stay

Porsche confirms the 911 Carrera won’t be available with a naturally aspirated engine again, but manuals stay. For now
17 May 2020