Spy shots

McLaren Sabre spied – next Ultimate Series hypercar well on its way

Featuring a bit of Speedtail and a bit of Senna, McLaren’s Sabre might just be the ultimate modern McLaren

The Sabre has been an odd case in McLaren’s sprawling range, appearing on and off the radar with an almost mythical quality, or a secret that’s not been well kept. Well, the model’s now been spotted testing locally in the UK with an unmistakable resemblance to leaked images from earlier this year, and the Gran Turismo Concept that inspired its design. 

Looking like a child of the Senna, the Sabre will likely use McLaren's typical carbonfibre tub and hydraulically cross-linked suspension, but bring a hybridised powertrain to the package, creating a new Ultimate Series supercar with aspects from both the Senna and Speedtail. While we can only speculate on the precise figures for the moment, working from the Speedtail’s 1020bhp output, we suspect the Sabre might too feature four-figure power derived from the usual Riccardo-built V8 twin-turbo engine and a hybrid drive unit.

While the hardware will likely be shared between its siblings, the Sabre’s design also takes a middle-ground between the Senna’s motorsport-derived aesthetic and the Speedtail’s more languid bodywork. Large, motorsport-derived aero devices like a front splitter, tall high-set rear wing and rear diffuser are clearly visible, but each of them has a softer appearance, designed to more delicately coerce the air around the complex network of intakes, vents and ducts.

In a first for McLaren, the Sabre features a longitudinal fin along the engine cover connecting to the huge Senna GTR-like wing with a central top and bottom support mount. This fin takes the place of a Senna’s snorkel intake, which like the Speedtail is likely to breathe through a combination of the side-pod intakes and directional intakes on the underbody. 

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what the Sabre’s specific capabilities are due to be when McLaren finally confirms them, but given what’s on show on this prototype, we’d suggest that there might be more than one internal performance benchmark that’s about to be usurped. Given the content on board, we suspect the Sabre to be well into seven figures, and available in numbers more limited than both the Senna and Speedtail.

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