McLaren 12C-based 458 Speciale rival planned

An enhanced version of the McLaren 12C is set to be launched this year. Autocar understands that the new car will sit above the 12C in McLaren’s line-up and will be sold as a stand-alone model. It is said to deliver on-road performance that will exceed that of the recently launched Ferrari 458 Speciale.

Although McLaren declined to comment on the story, a source told Autocar that the car would be based around the same carbonfibre Monocell as the 12C and would be powered by a modified version of the same engine, tuned to about 650bhp.

Standard carbon-ceramic brakes and a host of other performance-enhancing modifications are expected.

It’s also anticipated that the new car will be styled very differently from the 12C, with McLaren taking the opportunity to create a car that takes more styling influence from its range-topping McLaren P1 hypercar. In particular, the P1’s front end is said to be seen as a feature on all future McLaren road cars. The interior will also be uprated.

The styling changes are said to significantly improve the aerodynamic performance of the car. “The 12C is already incredible, but the P1 was designed as the ultimate car aerodynamically, and those lessons can help every car in the range,” said the source.

The £208,000 Ferrari 458 Speciale has 597bhp and delivers 398lb ft of torque from its V8 engine. It weighs 1395kg, records a 0-62mph time of 3.0sec and has a top speed of 202mph.