McLaren's supercars

29 Aug, 2006 1:00am Sam Hardy

Feast your eyes on some of the most stunning concepts ever seen outside of a motor show

You wait years for a McLaren supercar, and then 14 turn up at once! Feast your eyes on some of the most stunning concepts ever seen outside of a motor show - and one of them could well become a production reality.

That's because these are the results of a design study commissioned by McLaren Cars. The company, based in Woking, Surrey, is aiming to develop a machine to follow in the tracks of the F1 supercar and Mercedes SLR.

The concepts have been produced by final year students at the Institute of Design in Turin, Italy, and are all 1:4-scale models. Their brief was to come up with a sports car capable of hitting a maximum speed in excess of 200mph with class-leading aerodynamics and Formula One-style technology.

Of the 14 models that were produced, three were singled out by a panel of judges - which included McLaren's managing director, Anthony Sheriff. The first prize went to the MElevenB which, as you can see, looks like a futuristic version of the legendary F1 road car, with a pronounced canopy-style cockpit and a nose-down, tail-up stance. Second place went to the Manta, which features a more curvy appearance with bulging wheelarches.

In third place was the MP11, which is a very radical design, with a Formula One-style raised nose, deep air intakes and cut-outs in its flanks to cool the engine. Another strong contender was the bright yellow X11 Nemesis, whose sleek shape features a short front end and a long, tapering tail, just like a roadgoing Le Mans 24 Hours racer.

All 14 concepts entered in the contest are currently on display at the Institute of European Design in Turin until the end of September.

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