Rumor: McLaren 500S Will Be a 911-Fighting Mainstream Sports Car

By Winding Road Staff

August 18, 2014

Up until now, McLaren Automotive has been building supercars like the 650S (pictured) and P1 that are engineered - and priced - to go directly toe to toe with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. But with the P13, which is rumored to landing in showrooms early next summer and badged as the 500S, McLaren looks to be taking the fight to more mainstream sports cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Nissan GT-R, and the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT.
Expected to be positioned as an entry point into the McLaren range and priced around $180,000, the 500S is rumored to sport a detuned version of the 3.8-liter V8 used across McLaren's modern lineup, with the V8's output is rumored to be pegged around 500hp. The 650S is said to share its carbon fiber central tub with the new model as well as some of its interior design and ergonomics. All future McLarens will also offer an optional head-up display which utilizes a transparent fold-down driver-side visor design for weight savings and packaging purposes.
We have some slightly conflicting information about what the 500S may look like, as CEO Mike Flewitt has described it as "evolutionary", while design director Frank Stephenson was quoted by CAR magazine as saying that "Ferraris must look like Ferraris, and Porsches invariably look like Porsches, but there is no fixed formula for a McLaren" and that the 500S may sport a distinctly different body style than the 650S from which its derived.
Three different versions of the 500S are rumored to be in development. The standard coupe is expected in the summer of 2015, while the 500S Spider is slated to land sometime in 2016. The 500S GTS, a more hardcore, track-focused version of the coupe is also rumored to be on board for 2018.
McLaren also continues its promised torrent of other new vehicles, with a 2 + 2 grand tourer to take on the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide and the Porsche Panamera currently in development, along with a 650S successor already in the works, and a track-only P1 GTR expected in 2016.