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Reports claim the new V8 plug-in hybrid hypercar is due this year with Mercedes 300SL-style ‘gullwing’ doors, expected before the end of 2024.

The McLaren P1 successor is tipped to debut new Mercedes-style ‘gullwing’ doors and plug-in hybrid technology when it is unveiled before the end of 2024, according to a report by industry publication Automotive News.

Codenamed ‘P18’, the British car maker has previously confirmed it is working on a follow-up to the 2013-15 McLaren P1 hypercar – which was also a plug-in hybrid – with plans to reveal the new model by the end of this year.

The publication reports McLaren has told dealers in the US it has confirmed the new two-door, two-seat flagship – a rival to the forthcoming Ferrari LaFerrari successor and Aston Martin Valkyrie – will also be the first to ditch the brand’s trademark butterfly doors.

Butterfly doors – or ‘dihedral’ doors – have been a feature of every McLaren road car dating back to the 1992 McLaren F1.

MORE: McLaren P1 hypercar successor on track for 2024 launch onwards – report

They function by sliding up and out to allow a larger opening for occupants to enter and exit the vehicle.

For comparison, the ‘scissor doors’ made famous by Lamborghini open upwards, but do not move outwards like butterfly doors do.

Gullwing doors allow even more space without needing much room to fully open, making it easier for occupants to get in and out of the car, as well as enabling them to be opened in tight parking spaces.

They also move upwards but use hinges mounted on the vehicles’ roofs instead of hinges fixed at the front of the door.

This hinge positioning is usually far into the vehicle’s roof, effectively opening part of the roof with the door for more vertical room used by the occupants to get in and out of the car – as seen on the 1954 Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwing’ and its spiritual 2010 AMG SLS successor.

Gullwing doors also have famously been used on cars including the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 from the Back to the Future movie trilogy, as well as the 2011 Pagani Huayra.

More recently, power-operated gullwing doors were used for access to the rear seats of the Tesla Model X electric SUV – renamed ‘falcon wing’ doors – enabling entry and exit in tight parking spaces.

The P1 successor will also not be a battery-electric vehicle, instead continuing with plug-in-hybrid technology based around a McLaren V8 petrol engine.

“Customers certainly appreciate the electric elements of a hybrid powertrain,” McLaren product strategy director Jamie Corstorphine told Automotive News.

“But an (all) electric McLaren must be lightweight and deliver on the brand’s signature driving performance — on the road and on the track. And the technology is not there yet, he said.

“It’s not simply about straight-line performance … it has to be able to deliver 10 laps of sustained performance on the track.”

The car maker is still planning to launch electric cars at a later date – once the technology is ready – given it expects 90 per cent of its sales to be hybrid or electric by 2030 with the EU banning the sale of internal combustion engine new cars from 2035.

McLaren has expressed interest in a four-door, four-seat model which could use electric power – and become the company’s first SUV.

The post McLaren P1 successor due this year with gullwing doors – report appeared first on Drive.

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