Back in 1998, Andy Wallace Famously drove a McLaren F1 to a two-way average top speed of 240.3 mph, with a one-way peak of 243 mph. Sure, the car was a prototype (XP5), had revised gears, and an increased redline, but still—240 mph is no joke fast. McLaren’s production car record held until the 253-mph Bugatti Veyron with four turbochargers and four extra cylinders knocked the F1 off its perch. Recently, a Koenigsegg Agera RS managed a 277.9 mph two-way average in the Nevada desert. Bugatti has yet to tell the world how fast a Chiron can go, but 280 mph is a safe, conservative estimate.
Guess what? McLaren has confirmed that it’s building a car with a higher top speed than the F1, and like the F1, it will also seat three. Known for now as the BP23, McLaren says the three-seater will be the fastest and most luxurious car it’s ever built. As far as supporting materials go, the Woking-based company has shown a rendering of a center-seated driver and a speedometer showing 243 mph. McLaren told us that 243 mph is just the starting point, not the top speed.
The BP23 will be part of McLaren’s Ultimate Series of cars. Perhaps most famously, the P1 was the first Ultimate Series machine, followed recently by the intentionally awkward-looking Senna. The BP23 will be the ultimate “Hyper-GT” to hear McLaren tell it, whereas the Senna is the ultimate road-legal track car. Only 106 examples of the BP23 will be built, all 106 will be customized by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to each owner’s tastes, and all 106 have already been sold for about $2,000,000 each. Why 106? Because that’s how many F1s the company built from 1992 to 1998.
Some more BP23 notes: the car will receive an actual name, BP23 is just a place holder. Don’t know what it is, but perhaps Murray as a tribute to Gordon Murray, the F1’s designer? Just a guess. Like the P1, BP23 will get a “petrol-electric hybrid powertrain,” meaning that in addition to some version of the Senna’s 789-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, BP23 gets some sort of electric propulsion. We should see the car by the end of 2018, just after the 106 wealthy/lucky owners get a sneak peek. At that point we’ll not only learn the name, but what the top speed actually is. Should Bugatti and Koenigsegg be worried? OR is McLaren only concerned with besting its own legacy? Only time will tell.
One final note: A P1 successor is coming, but not until 2023, the 10-year anniversary of McLaren’s hybrid hyper car. It most certainly will not be called P2.