As you know McLaren is working on a couple of new compact supercars as part of their long term development program. The MP4-12C was the first creation of the leaner meaner company and now they are teasing two new models, currently coded as the XP8 and the XP10, as they are under testings at Spain’s Applus IDIADA facility and public roads in the foothills near Tarragona. These cars are in the first phases of development and have a long way ahead to become a complete car. Heck, the Mp4 itself is still a year away from the market! but it’s still good to know more about them…
Featured in the short film are XP8 and XP10, two XP Beta-phase prototypes. Wrapped almost entirely in matt black vinyl, XP Beta cars are clearly discernable from 2009’s XP cars, which were seen in the ‘Inside McLaren: Developing the MP4-12C” video sporting a black and white contrasting camouflage exterior.
The XP Beta test cars feature significant technological advancements that take the 12C nearer to production. A revised iteration of the M838T twin-turbo engine, transmission featuring new gear ratios, a more efficient cooling package, new suspension geometry and upgraded electrical architecture are the headline features of current prototypes, denoting key differences between XP and XP Beta cars.
Indicative performance figures generated by the XP Beta cars are expected to be announced in March, but feedback from February’s testing suggests that McLaren Automotive’s aspirations to out-perform its competitors appear well-founded.
A core team of 20-25 Vehicle Technicians travel with the XP Beta cars and are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support a test programme that mirrors the intensity of developing a Formula 1 car. Meanwhile, a further 12 Vehicle Development Engineers are responsible for specific technologies and systems being appraised while out on test.
Mark Vinnels, McLaren Automotive Programme Director, is leading the engineering team and said: “There is an extensive list of subjective and objective targets set for our prototype vehicles. These XP Beta cars are already achieving outstanding results in many of the subjective areas, which includes ride quality, handling and many other aspects of dynamic performance.
“The benchmark competitor vehicles we have tested become nervous and twitchy at higher speed, but the 12C feels more stable than anything I have driven. Because the bump rejection is so good, the ride is smooth and the steering is solid.”
“Between now and production the vehicles and the team are working flat out. All this is geared towards not just achieving our unprecedented levels of performance but also guaranteeing the levels of quality, reliability and durability with which we expect to delight future McLaren customers.”