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McLaren’s new supercar has a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8

0-124mph in 7.8 seconds and red engine-bay lighting for new Super Series cars

The new McLaren Super Series cars – that’s the 650S replacements to you and I – are getting a new engine. Goodbye, 3.8-litre bi-turbo V8. Hello, 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8. No, it’s not a total baby-out-with-the-bathwater job, but the new generation McLarens have never wanted for power, so McLaren’s sticking with a recipe it knows inside-out.

McLaren says the ‘M840T’ V8 will punt its new carbon-tubbed supercar – codenamed P14 – from 0-124mph in 7.8 seconds. Sounds fast, but a bit meaningless, right? Here’s the jaw-dropping context: that’s half a second quicker than the ballistic Ferrari 488 GTB and, conversely, just half a second slower than the original, all-wheel drive quad-turbo Bugatti Veyron. The glorious, unhinged 675 LT did 0-124mph in 7.9 seconds, by the way.

That is to say, the new Super Series is indecently quick. McLaren says its new ultra-low inertia twin-scroll turbos have dramatically reduced turbo lag too, as they look to catch up with Ferrari’s freakishly smooth 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. Sounds like they might have overdone it…

McLaren’s claiming a 10.3 second standing quarter-mile for the new model. Its closest rival, the Ferrari 488 GTB, will see that distance off in 10.6 seconds. Your move, Italy.

The new car isn’t all serious performance though. Sense of occasion (or posing, if you prefer) has been taken into consideration too, with red ambient lighting illuminating the engine bay when the driver unlocks the car. 

We’re also promised that the car will sound naughtier. Though of course, McLaren doesn’t say it in real-world English like that. Instead, Woking trumpets we can expect the engine to “signal its performance credentials with an exhaust sound achieved through a sophisticated balance of harmonics and delivering a ‘crescendo’ characteristic, according to engine rpm and load.” There’ll be a sports exhaust on the options list if you’re a proper audiophile.

So, more capacity, more speed, more noise, and more disco effects. Looking forward to the Geneva motor show reveal?

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