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McLaren’s limited-edition BP23 supercar could be the F1’s spiritual successor

From its carbon-fiber body to its gold-lined engine bay, the McLaren F1 had many distinctive features. But possibly the most distinctive was its three-seat cockpit layout, which placed the driver in the middle for a race car-like feel.

Now it appears McLaren is planning an F1 successor, and so far its at least got that detail right. Following in the tire tracks of both the F1 and the more recent P1 hybrid, McLaren’s latest limited-edition supercar will be what the company describes as a “Hyper GT,” a high-performance car built for long-distance driving. And just like the F1, it will be a three-seater.

More: 2017 McLaren 570GT review

The car is code-named BP23, for “Bespoke Project 2,” as well as the three-abreast seating arrangement. Production will be limited to just 106 units — matching the production run of the F1 — all of which have already been sold. Like the P1, the BP23 will feature a hybrid powertrain, although McLaren isn’t divulging any technical details at this time.

With all of the references to the F1, it’s almost certain that the BP23 will be another mid-engined supercar. But McLaren claims it will be more comfortable and hospitable than its previous efforts. The company has already tried this softer approach with the 570GT, a version of the “entry level” 570S supercar that McLaren intended to be better-suited to longer trips. It even made the 570GT a hatchback, to allow for more luggage space.

It’s unclear whether the BP23 will be a hatchback. In a press release announcing the car, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt would only say that the BP23 will have a “streamlined, shrink-wrapped carbon fiber body of great elegance.” It will also have the same “dihedral” doors used on every other current McLaren, but they will be power-operated for the first time.

McLaren hopes to deliver the first cars in 2019. Customers will work with the company’s McLaren Special Operations personalization division to customize things like paint colors and trim as the individual cars are built. Meanwhile, the rest of us have what looks like another exciting new supercar to drool over. Stay tuned.