UPDATE: pictures of the McLaren 650S have leaked onto the internet ahead of the official Geneva Motorshow reveal. Here is what we know so far about the new car from Woking...
McLaren has announced a new model. It's called the 650S and it'll slot into the model range between the 12C and the P1. So no, this isn't the P13 ‘baby' McLaren that we've been waiting for, but unfortunately that is pretty much all we do know until closer to this car's global reveal at the Geneva Motorshow on the 4th March.
However, we're going to try a bit of supposition. It's likely to be based on the 12C, but probably an uprated version of it, with - and this is surely a no-brainer - 650bhp from the same twin turbocharged 3.8-litre V8. Expect torque to climb a similar amount and, provided weight hasn't changed a significantly, acceleration figures to fall a fraction. Think three seconds flat to 60mph and six seconds flat to 100mph. Top speed? Well, it'll probably go up a little. You'd be safe to assume it'll probably go round corners faster and lop a couple of seconds off it's Nurburgring lap time. Not that McLaren will ever share that information with us.
The positioning is more interesting. This is pretty much guaranteed to be a more expensive model - you don't give a car more power and charge less for it, so we'd anticipate it being a more driver-orientated version of the 12C - that badge is pictured on a carbon panel for a reason. So the obvious explanation here is that this is McLaren's take on Ferrari's 458 Speciale. The other, more cynical explanation, might hold that Lamborghini is pulling the wraps off its new Huracan at the same time and this is a McLaren spoiler.
Let's hope it's the former. Because if, as McLaren's statement and the leaked pictures suggest, it does indeed take learnings from the P1, we'd predict that it might have some P1-style aero treatment. And that would hint that McLaren has gone further with it than just taking some weight out, and giving it more power and stickier tyres. So there we are - that's all we know, plus a lot we're guessing at. Share your thoughts and ideas below.