McLaren have announced their latest model in their Ultimate Series codenamed P15. It promises to be the most extreme track-focused road car ever made by the British carmaker and the engineers were given free rein to prioritise performance over practicality. But what do we think about the latest offering from McLaren?
McLaren is an engineering powerhouse producing some of the finest and most technically advanced automotive engines in the industry. Under their Track22 plan, McLaren aim to invest £1 billion in R&D and release 15 new models or derivatives – all by 2022. The P15 would act as the third instalment in this plan as the previous two McLaren models (under the Track22 plan) included the 720S and 570S Spider.
The P15 is expected to produce 800PS and weigh 150kg less than its P1 predecessor making it faster around a track and potentially quicker over a quarter mile. There is no doubt that the P15 has the performance but what about reliability? At GVE London, we have had the pleasure of dealing with many McLaren models (both in our service and buying department) and even sold a P1. Over the last year, we have experienced a myriad of reliability issues with McLaren and there are reports that McLaren are not offering extended warranties for its P1 models. This has led to a fall in demand (especially for the P1) and resulted in falling values. However, with each new McLaren product that the British supercar maker produces, reliability improves. So, it is likely that we won’t be seeing the same mechanical issues as we have been doing with earlier McLarens. It is also important to mention that the P15 possesses fully mechanical components, unlike the new technology used in the hybrid P1, meaning it shouldn’t have the same reliability issues. The next question then becomes about competition.
The original ‘Holy Trinity’ players (Ferrari & Porsche) have not announced their LaFerrari or 918 replacements so it appears McLaren now have the hypercar market all to themselves. However, the Mercedes Project 1 and the Aston Martin Valkyrie both have their own hypercars coming, but do they really act as competition? We don’t think so for two reasons. Firstly, the price point for the Project 1 and Valkyrie hypercars are likely to be between £2 and £3 million, whereas the P15 is expected to be approximately £800k. As such, the P15 appears to offer tremendous value for money. Secondly, the performance of both the Project 1 and Valkyrie are unique compared to anything else. They essentially employ formula 1 technology to create 1:1 power ratios making it an unbeatable track weapon. They will also be produced alongside Formula 1 race cars as the technology used is so similar. There is no doubt the Mercedes and Aston Martin hypercars will far surpass the McLaren, but it is not McLarens intention to compete with Mercedes and Aston Martin.
The P15 is also to be produced in limited numbers making it more desirable than other mass produced McLaren models. Having limited competition, limited numbers and being the best McLaren yet all point to high premiums and high demand for the P15, but what will happen in the long term. What worries us is the BP23 hyper-GT which is the third instalment in the Ultimate Series (due 2019). All the slots for this model have been allocated and under the Track22 plan there are many more McLaren models due to be launched. It seems McLaren are too great for their own good in terms of their rate of improvement and development because as soon as the P15 will be released, it will be overshadowed by the BP23 and the cycle will continue.
From an investment perspective we are not so sure about the P15 but from a driving and track perspective, there is nothing we are more sure about than the latest McLaren.