This represents a huge change for McLaren, one that should have Ferrari worried.
The pace at which technology moves is incredibly rapid. One moment we have headphone jacks in our iPhones and the next minute they’re gone. While that bombshell was just dropped in San Francisco, California, Woking, England appears to be the next hub for fast-paced change. That’s because McLaren has previously announced that it would reveal one new supercar per year, and Dutch website Auto Wereld just made a revelation that serves to prove these claims correct.
Speculation and logic suggests that we’re looking at what’s known to McLaren insiders as the P14, or in plain English, the successor to the 650S. As we can see, the styling of the P14 is a departure from the familiar face of the 650S and 675LT. Instead, the front and rear end of the car looks like an evolution of the 570S’ design. A pointed nose and subdued air scoops make up part of this shift, but more notable is the loss of the front headlights shaped like the McLaren logo that are seen on the 650S and 570S. Along with the headlights, the characteristic side vent scoop is absent, and while it’s hard to see in these spy photos, it appears that there’s a smaller air intake port near the bottom and to the rear of the doors.
Additionally, the doors appear to be hinged to the roof like gullwing doors, a direct contrast to the butterfly doors featured on other McLaren models. The rear also gets an update that’s more in line with the 570S save for the round center-mounted exhaust pipes from the 675LT. Compared to the 570S, the LED brake light strip loses some of its curvature as well as the lower end of the light strip to appear more menacing, a look that customers are sure to want for the middle of the pack McLaren. Even though the P14 will slot below the P1 in terms of performance, McLaren design director Frank Stephenson previously mentioned that the P14 will be “even crazier than the P1.”
Given how outlandish that hypercar is, we can’t wait until the 2017 Geneva Auto Show where the P14 is slated to be released. It’s worth noting that Autocar reached out to McLaren to confirm if what we see here is the P14. The automaker denied it claiming that this car is simply a test bed for future McLaren technology. We call BS on that claim because it's unlikely that an automaker would put so much effort in restyling a test mule. When the P14 comes around to market, we can expect it to outdo the 650S' 641 horsepower in attempt to surpass the Ferrari 488 GTB's 660 prancing ponies. That should help get the carbon tub from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. Try and sit still until we get more details. Flatbed photo courtesy of Brian Williams