McLaren Sports Series promises at least seven variants

Just how many different supercars can McLaren offer? The answer may yet surprise us even more than we anticipated.

The British racing outfit is building a growing range of models around the same basic architecture that has already bred five different variants across two families: the Super Series (with the 625C, 650S and new 675LT) and the Ultimate Series ( P1 and P1 GTR). That's already impressive as it is, but the addition of the upcoming new Sports Series promises to expand Woking's model line even further. Much further.

According to the latest from Car and Driver, which sat down with McLaren's affable chief executive Mike Flewitt at the Geneva Motor Show last week, the new Sports Series will come in enough flavors to put an ice cream parlor to shame. We've known for some time that the company's upcoming entry-level range would come in at least three body styles, if not four. There'll be a coupe, a convertible and an unconventional GT version. But there will also be a number of engine specs available.

The base model will wear the letter C, like the pared-down Asian market 625C. The next step up will be distinguished by the letter S, like the 650S. Both will be offered right from launch. But a third version could follow to serve as a baby brother to the new 675LT. Even if the latter is only offered in one body style, that means the Sports Series will come in seven different versions – giving potential buyers a similar array of choices they'd find if they went for a Porsche 911 or Audi R8.

Pricing is similarly expected to target the upper end of the 911 range, landing somewhere between the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S, which sell for $152k and $184k, respectively, in the US. Even at the upper end of that range, that's still substantially less than the $265k starting price for the 650S. To make up the difference, the Sports Series will do without active aero and suspension, but will still employ a similar carbon monocoque chassis and 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – albeit de-tuned from upwards of 600 horsepower to somewhere in the 500-horse range.

We'll have to sit tight and wait for more details, but the wait won't be long now as the McLaren Sports Series is set to debut at the New York Auto Show next month.

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