The 720S is only fractionally longer and wider than the 570S, and uses the same ‘Monocell II’ carbonfibre passenger cell underneath. Its shape also makes it one of McLaren’s most aerodynamic models yet, which could be the main motivation for the brand using a 720S-inspired design for the Sports Series models. 

These prototypes’ exact specifications remain closely under wraps. Rumours strongly suggest that the Woking car maker will be switching to V6 power for the new hybrid system, saving weight and increasing efficiency, with electric power more than making up for the loss in cylinder capacity. 

The Sports Series replacement is also expected to come with a charging port, making it a plug-in hybrid rather than the recuperative hybrid system found in the P1. It will also put both petrol and electric power through the rear wheels only. 

While it won’t be possible to fully cancel out the weight penalty of a hybrid system, Flewitt hopes to minimise it. “I’ve always said my ambition was to launch the hybrid at the same weight as the outgoing car,” he told Autocar last year.

“We’re not going to hit that, but we’re going to be within 30-40kg. When you think the P1 hybrid system was 140kg, we’ve done a huge amount to manage the weight. I’ve driven a prototype of it and the car is very compelling. We wouldn’t be launching it if it wasn’t going to be.”

READ MORE 

Hardcore McLaren 620R confirmed, first spy shots emerge 

Autocar exclusive McLaren F1 road test: 25 years on

McLaren Senna GTR 2019 review