MAR 06th 2015

NEW ‘BABY MAC’ GOES OUT TO PLAY ‑ IN THE SNOW

As the snow gently falls, an engine is gunned and the sports car spins its wheels as it slithers around a frozen lake…

The next time you see this car in action might be rather different. Without camouflage and on a blazing hot (!) June day up a certain driveway in Sussex!

The snowy video introduction to McLaren’s first Sports Series model has been published ahead of the car’s unveiling at the New York auto show in April. We’re still in the throes of the Geneva Motor Show but already the teaser vids have started for the next automotive extravaganza!

The entry-level car from McLaren to rival the Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT S does warrant some fanfare however (as well as that dynamic debut at FoS with, well, let’s see, say Jenson Button behind the wheel; but we’ll have to wait for confirmation of all that).

‘We are conscious our naming strategy has been all over the place.’

No question, this is an important car for McLaren. It will be the least expensive McLaren and the biggest selling. Few details are as yet confirmed, but there are plenty of clues to build up an early picture of what it will be like.

Priced from around £135,000 it’s in the mid-engined, two-seater, scissor-door mould of the 650S, and it will use a detuned version of that car’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8. Impressively for a car at this price point it will also get a modified version of the 650S’s carbon tub, though the body is likely to be aluminium rather than carbon.

What will it be called? McLaren 550C? McLaren 575S? Something along those lines we think. Whatever it is, it will be easy to remember, with a simple number (the power in PS) and a letter (C for club or the more comfort orientated spec, S for sport, plus others).

‘We are conscious our naming strategy has been all over the place,’ McLaren Special Operations boss Paul Mackenzie tells GRR at the Geneva Motor Show. ‘We are trying to bring some order to it. No more fax machine numbers like MP4 12C.’

McLaren_Sports_Series_

The McLaren 550C (for the sake of argument) is the first of McLaren’s new Sports Series models. This is the new ‘mainstream’ end of the business and as such crucially important to McLaren Automotive’s long-term success. The Sports Series is likely eventually to comprise light weight track versions plus coupe and spider body styles.

The 12C, 650S, Asia-only 625C and Geneva-debuting 675LT all comprise the Super Series, while the P1 and P1 GTR, another Geneva premiere, are in the Ultimate Series. All a bit simpler than it was.

Exciting times then at Woking – stay with GRR for more news of the Baby Mac as it happens…

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