As much as we’re sure they’d love to just build super sports cars and supercars, it’s hard for any start-up to become wildly successful just building limited-production sports cars that cost well upwards of $250,000. Ferrari and Lamborghini manage to do it through the support of giant corporate parents, and through the goodwill and loyalty earned through 50+ years of building cars that people dream about owning. McLaren, sadly, doesn’t have either of those advantages—at least not to the same extent.
So in order to survive, McLaren needs to grow. They need some volume—and we ain’t talking about the Maxell kind. They need a big-time seller, at least by high-end sports car numbers. They need a Porsche 911 fighter.
And guess what? That’s exactly what they’re working on. According to a report from Motor Trend, McLaren says they’re currently working on Project P13, a sub-Twelvsy sports car designed to compete against higher-end versions of the 911, in terms of price—so plan on it costing $150K-$175K to start. (We’re thinking the next 911 Turbo and GT3 RS may spank even the mighty 12C.) It will also reportedly be more practical than the 12C—by which McLaren means it will have a trunk. We’re not sure if that means a) the P13 will be front-engined, b) it will be mid-engined with two trunks, Boxster-style, or c) McLaren is trying to develop a car with a more usable front trunk than the 12C; we’re betting on “c,” but we’re hoping for “b.”
As for power, considering the time and energy McLaren spent developing their twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8, we’re betting that’ll stick around for the new car—probably making around 500 horsepower. We wouldn’t be too surprised to see later versions (especially a GT3-style car) benefit from some sort of KERS-like hybrid system, though. Styling will reportedly be P1-inspired; we’re guessing it’ll be toned down a little, as that market usually demands a bit more subtlety out of their cars than the million-dollar hypercar crew.
Expect to see the P13 on sale in 2014, probably with a new name. Like, say, 10C. [via Motor Trend]