What's McLaren up to With This Mystery 650S-based Prototype?

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

McLaren has us scratching our heads after it was spied testing a mysterious 650S-based prototype near the Nurburgring.

This prototype is a bit confusing, as McLaren has already replaced the 650S with the 720S. For this reason, we’re inclined to believe this is some sort of powertrain mule for one of McLaren’s future models. The mule has the numbers ‘MV715-23’ on the windshield, and BP23 is rumored to be the internal project code for McLaren’s rumored F1 successor, so we may be looking at a very early draft of the hypercar.

The mule has some GT3-style aerodynamics with a huge rear wing, a tray-style front splitter, a hood with deep venting and the rear diffuser and side skirts from a 675LT. The exhaust outlets are also located in between the rear taillights – the same location as on the 675LT and 720S. It’s hard to say if McLaren has slapped this car with extra aero parts for research purposes, or if they just wanted to make sure their powertrain mule stayed stuck to the track during testing.

SEE ALSO: How McLaren’s Three-Seat Hybrid Hypercar Came to Be

The BP23 is rumored to follow in the footsteps of the McLaren F1 with a three-seat cabin layout with a centralized driving position. It will apparently be limited to just 106 units – all of which have already been sold. It’s rumored to arrive with a hybrid setup similar to the McLaren P1’s. We could see the powertrain consisting of the 4.0-liter V8 found in the 720S along with an evolution of the P1’s hybrid system, but it’s still much too early to call.

Let us know what you think this McLaren mule could be in the comments below. We’re a bit stumped.

Discuss this story on our McLaren forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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