There were swirling rumours around McLaren adding another member to its Ultimate Series of supercars, currently occupied by the Senna and upcoming Speedtail but also includes an alumni of greats as the F1 and P1. Unlike all those others cars, however, this one would lack a roof entirely - even a windscreen.
This all-new McLaren will be a Speedster in the more true sense of the word, but based on the single teaser image supplied so far, it will share the most resemblance with the 720S, not the Senna as was previously thought.
The car itself does not yet have a name to it, however CEO of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt, confirmed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that a mere 399 examples are planned for production, intending to merge the Speedtail’s high-speed aerodynamic efficiency with the Senna’s track-focused tack sharp handling.
“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 addition to the Ultimate Series, an open-cockpit roadster, will take road-focused driving pleasure to new levels,” said Flewitt.
Being a modern day product of the Woking team, several key mechanical attributes can be ascribed to it even prior to any official announcement. For example, the car will indeed still incorporate the dihedral doors that have become something of a brand signature.
Elsewhere, the two-seat Speedster will also take full advantage of its fully carbon fibre MonoCage III construction to allow the removal of structural supports such as the A-pillars and roof without compromising structural rigidity.
Lastly, there’s no doubt that a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged V8 - likely displacing 4.0-litres - will be called upon. The M840TR engine found in the Senna pumps out 588kW and 800Nm at their respective peaks, so surely the a tune similar to this will be used. Of course, it will be rear-wheel drive and will utilise a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Senna already leaves nearly all unnecessary creature comforts unequipped in favour of achieving a very low overall weight (just under 1,200kg dry). With its lack of roof and most of its passenger cell, we imagine this new Speedster will be lighter still.