Very few cars evoke the kind of passionate reaction that the McLaren F1 does. No one knows this like McLaren itself, which is why at its Technology Centre in Woking, England, McLaren engineers are hard at work developing a successor to the legendary F1.
McLaren is now in the midst of developing the P11 - a mid-engined rival for the Ferrari F430 - to be followed by the Porsche 911-fightin' P8. The P11 architecture which underpins both cars will also be used to create an ?ber-McLaren to replace the F1.
McLaren?s director of Automotive Design, Frank Stephenson revealed that he was currently sketching ideas for a vehicle to take over where the F1 left off.
"For the F1 replacement, there are not the restrictions on us, like with P11," Stephenson said. "I am looking at a clean sheet of paper for the F1 replacement, and we are still trying to see what directions we want it to go in, in terms of its design.
"The P11 is the building block for the whole of the McLaren automotive range," he said. "It's really a Ferrari F430 competitor, and there's plenty of room above that."
The F1 replacement, or ?F2? as it has been dubbed, will be positioned to compete with the likes of the ultra-exclusive Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg CCX. The top-tier McLaren is tipped to run a mid-mounted V8 of around 6.0 litres in capacity, with an estimated top speed of above 385km/h (240mph)
The P11 and P8 projects mark the start of McLarens ?mainstream? sportscar production. Initial production of the P11 is set at 1000 units per year when it arrives in 2011, rising to about 4000 units per year with the P8 by the middle of the decade. By comparison only 65 regular F1?s were built.