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McLaren reveals three-seat 720S-based BP23 hypercar mule

By Cameron Kirby, 02 Oct 2017 News

McLaren reveals three-seat 720S-based BP23 hypercar mule

The iconic three person seating format is returning with McLaren already developing the BP23 hypercar

IT IS now five years since the McLaren P1 was first revealed; to celebrate, the gents from Woking have revealed pictures of the 720S-based mule which is being used to develop the P1’s replacement.

Codenamed BP23, the new hypercar won’t just be the successor to the P1 hypercar, but will also see the return of design elements first seen in the legendary McLaren F1.

The astute among you may have picked up on something odd from the press shots – the driver is placed in the centre of the car, flanked by two passenger seats.

Seem familiar? That’s because the F1 made that three-person config popular back in 1993. The triple-seat layout is one of the reasons the F1 was so unique, and this is the first time the same layout will be used again in a production car.

Like the original road-going McLaren F1 the BP23 will be positioned as a high-speed grand tourer rather than a track-storming beast, so McLaren is spending plenty of time ensuring the cabin is a comfortable place to spend time.

Despite being used for the next-gen hypercar’s development, the 720S mule seen here doesn’t have any of the hybrid powertrain that will be seen in the production BP23, instead operating solely as a testbed car for the unique cabin layout.

McLaren has also confirmed the BP23 will have the highest power output of any McLaren ever produced. That would mean it eclipses the 673kW and 980Nm of the road-legal P1 (the track-only P1 GTR variant produces 735kW). It’s likely the BP23 will exceed the 745kW (1000bhp) barrier, putting it in the same realm as the Mercedes-AMG Project One - which has the hybrid powertrain lifted directly from a 2016 Formula 1 car.

The body of the BP23 could differ significantly from McLaren’s current crop of cars, with the British outfit claiming it will be the most aerodynamic design yet.

McLaren Special Operations, the company’s arm that’s normally tasked with creating bespoke cars or limited-edition models, is in charge of designing and building the BP23. Just 106 units will be built – all already sold of course – with each built to owner specifications.

Production is expected to start in 2019, with customer cars to begin delivery the same year.