Fresh new details about the upcoming entry-level McLaren sports car, known internally as the P13 but possibly set to be dubbed the 500S, have emerged and there’s no doubting that the Porsche 911 Turbo, 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT and Nissan GT-R will have a real rival on their hands.

First and foremost, the McLaren 500S will use a detuned variant of McLaren Automotive’s staple 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. In the 650S it delivers 642 hp and in the McLaren 500S, will deliver around 490 hp. While that is less than the GT-R and 911 Turbo and about 10 hp down on the AMG GT, the McLaren 500S should make up for the power deficit thanks to its lightweight construction.

At the heart of the car will reside McLaren’s ‘monocell’ carbon fibre monocoque. Additionally, we expect the McLaren 500S to have a similar interior design to the 650S with a single, thin dashboard/centre console being the centrepiece.

While recently discussing the car, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt revealed that it will be the most driver’s car in its segment.

“McLaren is consistent. It will be the best driver’s car in its segment. That’s what we do. All our cars have low-capacity powerful turbo engines and are light and have a carbon fibre tub. If you saw the P13′s tub and the P11′s (12C and 650S), they are different but made on similar principles. Both are two-seaters, both mid-engined, but with different engines and suspensions. That’s how the 650S will justify its premium.

“All our cars will use the V8, with the same block dimensions and bore centres, so it’s a related version in the P13. After all it’s only three years old, and has lots of development left in it.

“Of course the 650S will have more speed and grip than the P13. But the art for the P13 is the same as the 650S and even the P1: that the driver can exploit the capability of the car, without the electronics intervening. Things like our steering are consistent across our cars: low friction, little self-centring, but not as direct as a Ferrari because that can be tiring,” he said.

[Via Winding Road]

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