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Second-gen McLaren Super Series gets new 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8

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The second-generation McLaren Super Series will be the first modern McLaren not powered by the company's 3.8-liter V8.

The second-generation McLaren Super Series will depart from its predecessor in one major way.

Since McLaren began producing cars in volume, every model it’s made has used some variation of the same 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8. This engine has powered every modern McLaren, from the “entry-level” Sports Series models to the P1 hybrid hypercar. But it won’t power the new Super Series.

That’s because this new supercar, which debuts next month at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, will have an all-new 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8. In addition to having slightly more displacement than outgoing V8, the new engine, code-named M840T, will feature a new turbocharger design. The new twin-scroll turbos will be able to spool up faster than previous designs, McLaren says. That will cut down on dreaded “turbo lag” and make the engine more responsive to throttle inputs.

More: McLaren’s next Super Series will be much quicker than its predecessor

For now, McLaren won’t say how much power the M840T engine produces. The first version of the Super Series is expected to carry the 720S name which, based on the company’s naming practices, should mean it will have 720 metric horsepower (a U.S. horsepower rating would be slightly lower). McLaren claims the V8 will propel the Super Series from 0 to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds, and through the standing quarter mile in 10.3 seconds.

Besides the new engine, the second-generation Super Series will be based on a new body structure called Monocage II. The company expects the carbon-fiber-intensive design to cut just under 40 pounds of weight compared to the current 650S, which the new Super Series will replace. McLaren is targeting a dry curb weight of 2,828 pounds. It also expects the new chassis to provide a lower center of gravity, better outward visibility, and easier ingress and egress than its predecessor.

Between the M840T engine and Monocage II body structure, McLaren seems to have the makings of an impressive new supercar. But we won’t know for sure until the new Super Series debuts at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show March 7. Stay tuned.