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McLaren shows off new lightweight chassis ahead of supercar reveal

The chassis represents the beginning of a second generation of its Super Series product lineup.

2015 McLaren 650S Spider
Josh Miller/CNET

The Detroit auto show hasn't even kicked off yet, but already, McLaren is gearing up for the Geneva Motor Show in March. And for good reason -- there's a new supercar coming.

McLaren will officially debut the second generation of its Super Series lineup -- which, for now, appears to be just one car -- in Switzerland. To tease its newest creation, it's given the public a look at its new carbon-fiber chassis. The underpinnings contribute to a curb weight of just 2,828 pounds, which is about 40 pounds lighter than the current McLaren 650S.

Stop giggling -- monocoque is a real word, and I am using it correctly.


The new chassis confers some other benefits, as well. The door openings are now wider, and the doorsills are lower, which should make getting in and out easier. It also drops the center of gravity, which contributes to better handling when the going gets twisty. If you really like carbon-fiber monocoques, you can even spec the car so you can see some of the exposed chassis on the A-pillar.

This new supercar, which doesn't yet have a name, is the first of McLaren's Track 22 business plan, which should see 15 new cars arriving by 2022. The company previously announced that some 50 percent of its lineup will be hybrids by that time, but it's unclear if that electrification starts with this car.

McLaren's soon-to-be newest offering can trace its roots back to 2011, when the company launched its MP4-12C supercar. A drop-top version came one year later, and in 2014, the 650S and 650S Spider came in as replacements. The company also revived its "longtail" moniker with the 675LT.

And that's just the Super Series -- there's also a Sports Series (570S, 570GT) and an Ultimate Series (P1, P1 GTR). For now, the Super Series is the focus, and we'll find out more as we draw closer to March.

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