Pour one out for McLaren’s line of Sports Series models, because the British brand’s entry-level model’s production cycle is soon coming to an end. In its place, McLaren will launch a gasoline-electric hybrid sports car (possibly code-named P16) built on a new carbon-fiber architecture that’s known internally as MCLA.
While the brand recently teased images of the hybrid sports car covered in camouflage, it may have inadvertently revealed the vehicle in its entirety in a recent patent application. Predictably, the new model evolves the brand’s styling language, with its headlights and side air intakes bleeding together to form the boomerang-like look of the McLaren symbol, while the rear incorporates thin and wide LED lights like those of the GT. Additionally, the car’s flying buttresses and upright rear window are reminiscent of its 570S forebear.
Whereas the 570S (as well as every modern road-going McLaren) relies on a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine for motivation, the newest McLaren model will instead use a twin-turbo V-6. No word yet on whether the first-ever McLaren V-6 will be related to the V-8, but that’s likely. The new car will also be a plug-in hybrid vehicle, according to a report from Automotive News Europe, and will offer about 19 miles of EV range and a three- to four-hour charge time for its battery pack.
Regardless, we expect this McLaren’s smaller engine and electric motor to net a good deal more power than that of today’s 562-hp 570S. In fact, we’d guess the car’s gasoline-electric powertrain will produce a peak combined figure north of 600 horses. That ought to allow it to best the likes of the 573-hp Acura NSX without stepping on the proverbial toes of its 710-hp 720S stablemate.
Look for the next McLaren to show its face and trick plug-in hybrid powertrain off early next year. If these patent drawings are anything to go by, then the latest entry-level McLaren promises to look the business of a six-figure sports car. Let’s just hope it packs equally compelling performance.