McLaren P13 testing begins

24 Jul, 2013 1:05pm Tom Phillips

McLaren P13 begins testing disguised as bigger 12C Spider at the Nurburgring

Appearances can be deceptive. While this looks like a lightly disguised McLaren 12C Spider test car, it’s actually an early validation prototype for McLaren’s next model being shaken down at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Early reports claimed that the car in the pictures was a facelifted 12C Spider, due to be revealed at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. However, a McLaren spokesman confirmed to us that the firm is not exhibiting at Frankfurt this year. He added that the test car is “a mule prototype of P13 undertaking early testing.”

Codenamed P13, the new car is expected to be rival to the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo. It’ll be pitched as a usable, ‘everyday’ supercar which blends plenty of performance with a decent sized boot and cabin space, and we expect it to be priced on a par with its rivals, from around £120,000.

The P13 is expected to use a revised but detuned version of the current 3.8-litre M838 V8 engine used in the 12C, possibly without turbochargers.

Senior designer at McLaren, Rob Melville, told us that the car would be mid-engined, too, when we visited McLaren to get the full story on the P1 project. He also added that the car is likely to use the carbonfibre MonoCell as the basis for its construction to keep the car light but strong.

That also means that the P13’s new engine can be hidden away in the shell of a current model without arousing the suspicions. It’s also likely that the Graziano seven-speed seamless shift gearbox used in the 12C will be fitted to the P13

We expect that the P13 will make its debut in 2015, with a reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of that year.

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Does this mean that McLaren will continue to be uncompetitive in Formula 1? Are all these efforts spent on new road cars takes engineering resources away from the race track? It probably explains why Ferrari are also being flattened by Red Bull rather too frequently of late as they seem to be releasing a new car every other month.

Lol... Do you actually believe the respective F1 resources of Ferrari and Mclaren work on the road cars as well... Please.
There is one reason why Redbull are flattening all before them at the moment. Adrian Newey... If you don't know who he is, get reading ;)

Actually he is one of a number of reasons. For a talent like Newey to thrive he needs a well oiled machine around him. I think McLaren and Ferrari are bloated and inefficient and too used to doing things a particular way. They respond too slowly to challenges in the season - if Newey was at either McLaren or Ferrari their cars would be better but would they be wiping the floor with everyone like RBR? I don't think so. And as for sharing resources directly - no I don't believe there is direct sharing. But personnel do get moved from one division to the other sometimes to the detriment of the other.