McLaren has released the first official images of its P1 design study, the supercar precursor that we've all been waiting for. This stunner will officially debut at the Paris Motor Show next week.

Calling the P1 McLaren's next "ultimate supercar," McLaren says this concept takes its inspiration from the company's rich racing heritage. Visually, we certainly see the connection with the late, great McLaren F1 – the concept seems to blend the proportions of the F1 with the overall design language of the current MP4-12C. With an exceedingly brief, snubbed nose flowing into wildly sculpted rear bodywork (we're especially fond of the rear three-quarter view), the P1 is more dramatic and compelling than it's relatively staid MP4-12C little brother, truly selling the supercar idea without having to move a wheel. That the concept is rendered in a searing shade of orange metallic doesn't hurt, either.

Of course, McLaren isn't giving us any hints on the technical details for the eventual production version of the P1, though it does speak to the intent of the final car. The P1 is not intended to be the world's fastest vehicle in terms of "absolute top speed," shooting, according to Ron Dennis, to be, "the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit." That's supercar snobbery – a cockiness based on purity of purpose, rather than numbers on a specification sheet – that is bound to resonate with car geeks everywhere.

After the Paris showing of the P1, we're told it will be one year until the production version of the range-topping supercar shows up, with an on-sale date sometime in the last part of 2013. Look for much more information about the P1, live from our Paris team, next week.
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McLaren releases three images of its new supercar, the P1

McLaren Automotive will use its first ever international motor show appearance to preview its next generation ultimate supercar – the P1 – which takes much of its technological and spiritual inspiration from the company's Racing division. P1 has one simple goal: to be the best driver's car in the world on road and track.

At the Paris Motor Show, Mondial de l'Automobile 2012, P1 is previewed as a design study. Next year a production version, which the company aims to put on sale within 12 months, will be revealed.

'P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage,' says McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis. 'Twenty years ago we raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1 and our goal with P1 is to redefine it once again.'

'Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit', says McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff. 'It is the true test of a supercar's all round ability and a much more important technical statement. It will be the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made.'

When P1 goes into production later next year, it will sit above the 12C and 12C Spider, in terms of both price and performance.

More information will be released following the McLaren Automotive press conference scheduled for 17.45 CEST (16.45 BST), on Thursday 27 September 2012.