The Pebble Beach Concours is quite the place for exotic car announcements and 2019 was no exception. McLaren has ambitious plans to launch 18 new models between now and 2025 based on its “Track25” business plan. At a private gathering, McLaren CEO Mike Flewett announced a new addition to the Ultimate Series McLaren entering production in late-2020; a speedster, no less.
Aimed at Ferrari’s very limited production, very expensive Monza SP1 and SP2 cars, Flewett says this will be McLaren’s “purest driving experience yet.” Positioned between the McLaren Senna and Speedtail, this would position its price around the $1.5-2 million range. Yes, that’s a big range based on the Senna’s $960,000 tab and the Speedtail’s $2.55 million prices.
Though built for touring, Flewett said it will also be a track-capable, open-cockpit two-seater, with a limited production run of only 399 cars.
The single image available offers no visible cockpit windscreen protection, which looks similar to Ferrari’s Monza SP1 and SP2. Ferrari says these windscreen-less models have a patented “virtual windscreen” which directs wind away from the driver. Whether McLaren has a similar configuration is unknown, as is a name for this new speedster.
Obviously, McLaren is following Ferrari’s lead with what Ferrari calls the “Icona” series of limited edition cars. These are meant to be inspired by classic Ferraris. With the SP1 being a single-seater McLaren went with what would be considered the more marketable approach by designing the new 2020 roadster as a two-seat open cockpit speedster.
Based on one of McLaren’s existing carbon fiber tubs it will feature its signature dihedral doors which scissors upward from a pivot at the front of the doors. With no top to aid reinforcement, McLaren has resorted to beefing up the body and chassis with extensive use of carbon fiber reinforcement.
Power will come from the Senna’s 786-hp twin-turbo V8. No hybrid version or electric motors will be included for the powertrain.
While the SP1 and SP2 are only offered to current Ferrari owners, McLaren has stated the new speedster will be available to both current and prospective customers.
McLaren Release Statement
McLaren issued a joint statement with the news from Flewett stating, “At McLaren Automotive we are consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver the purest and most engaging driving experience whether for the road or track. Our two current Ultimate Series cars, the Senna and Speedtail, offer unique and distinct driving experiences. Now this new edition to the Ultimate Series, an open-cockpit roadster, will take road-focused driving pleasure to new levels.”
Last year McLaren launched the 600TL, the Hyper-GT 720S Speedtail, and 720S Spyder. This year, it announced the track-only Senna GTR. While McLaren’s “18 new models in five years” plan seemed a bit ambitious, McLaren seems to be on track to fulfill that commitment. As enthusiasts, we can’t wait for the just-announced speedster and the rest of the future line of McLaren products.
Now we just have to figure out a way to convince the fine folks at McLaren to toss us the keys for a test drive.