Even before you take other model lines into consideration, Porsche
has done quite a job broadening its 911
range with an ever-expanding array of variants – from different engines and transmissions to distinct body styles. Little wonder, then, that its rivals are working to emulate the same model. Just the other day, we brought you news that Mercedes is planning to follow a similar formula
with its 911-baiting AMG GT
, and now it seems McLaren is preparing to go the same route as well.
As we reported back in March
, the upcoming McLaren Sport Series
– which will take on the upper end of the 911 family – will be offered in multiple body styles. Just how many, exactly, we still don't know for sure, but Holland's Autovisie reports
that the baby Mac will spawn "at least four variants" – which could explain the "Series" part of the nameplate. The first version we're expecting to see in New York will likely be the standard coupe. That will be followed by a Spider version just like there's been of the 12C and 650S. But those won't be the end of the story.
This past June, reports suggested
that McLaren was planning a GT version with an "unconventional trunk." Autovisie
now reports that it'll encompass a luggage compartment fitted over the engine and accessible from the side, making the prospect of driving Woking's smallest every day a more realistic one – relatively speaking, that is. This could take the form of the Shooting Brake rumoured to be in the works
But what about the fourth variant, you asked? That could come down to a GTR model. McLaren has already announced that it's bringing the track-bound P1 GTR to the Geneva Motor Show, and just the other day we reported on the possibility of a 650 GTR that would essentially fill in for the previous 12C Can-Am edition. A similar hard-core treatment could feasibly be applied to the Sports Series as well, whether bound to the track or open to use on public roads as well.
The proliferation of variants wouldn't be without precedent for Working, after all. The original McLaren F1
bred GTR and LM versions, though they were almost too rare to count. The SLR
it built for Mercedes spawned more derivatives than we would dare count. The MP4-12C
gave us a few as well. And the 650S
has already appeared in coupe, Spider, 625C
and soon GTR versions. So the idea of the company's upcoming entry-level model following the same path would only make sense.
In related news, McLaren Special Operations
has also announced another special-edition 650S. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the F1 GTR's dominant win at Le Mans
, the 650S Le Mans edition is blacked out, has special alloys and features a snorkel intake on the roof which does not affect output or performance. Only 50 coupes will be offered worldwide.