We can only hope the Speedster looks this good.
In the last decade, McLaren Automotive has gone from start-up manufacturer to Italian supercar slayer, with its latest products like the hardcore Senna and more luxurious McLaren GT vast improvements over the very first MP4-12C. The British carmaker has developed four distinct product lines, under the banners of GT, Sports Series, Super Series, and Ultimate Series. It's the latter we care about today - not just because the Ultimate Series already comprises icons like the Senna and Speedtail, or because that's the banner under which the P1 hypercar was released. No, we're more interested in the upcoming McLaren Speedster, which will be the latest Ultimate Series model from the Woking-based brand.
Back in August, McLaren confirmed the new open-top roadster in the Ultimate Series range - set to debut in 2020 - would be called the McLaren Speedster. The Speedster is set to become McLaren's most extreme model yet, completely open-topped with not even a windshield to separate the two occupants from the elements. Just 399 models will be built, and while McLaren has teased us with a few shadowy pictures of the upcoming vehicle, Chicago-based artist, Charlie Automotive, has shown us what he thinks the Speedster should look like with these 720S-based renderings in a classic Marlboro livery.
Of course, McLaren has a long history in Formula 1, and this Marlboro livery is a modern take on the paint job some of the classic F1 racers have worn over the decades. There's even an F1-inspired airbox in Charlie's renders.
While we can see from the shadowy teasers McLaren has released that the render isn't quite accurate - McLaren has gone for side-mounted air intakes rather than an F1-style airbox - the renders look pretty damn cool. It's also not the worst thing to do, taking the 720S as the Speedster's base, as McLaren is likely to utilize the same carbon-fiber Monocage II chassis for the Speedster.
What will power the Speedster remains to be seen, but we suspect it'll stick with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 from the Senna that understatedly develops 789 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive will be a given, but what should set the Speedster apart will be the weight, which is expected to undercut the Senna's dry weight of 2,641 lbs.