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McLaren P13: Audi R8 rival hits the track

An early development prototype of the McLaren P13 has been spied undergoing high-speed testing at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Early reports suggested the camouflaged vehicle was a facelift of the MP4-12C due to be unveiled at September's Frankfurt motor show, though a McLaren spokesman has since confirmed the spied vehicle is actually a mule of the British brand’s upcoming entry-level sports car.

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The all-new model, codenamed P13, is tipped to tackle the likes of the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo with a sub-$300,000 price tag.

Power is expected to come from a detuned version of the brand’s 3.8-litre V8, producing an estimated 330kW. The P13 will be mid-engined like the MP4-12C, but may trade its twin-turbocharged set-up for a single-turbo or naturally aspirated layout.

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AutoExpress says the production version of the P13 will be the brand’s “everyday supercar”, combining strong performance with a more accommodating cabin and boot than the MP4-12C.

The P13 is set to take styling inspiration from the P1 hypercar, while McLaren’s senior designer has previously said it would likely inherit that model’s strong and lightweight carbonfibre MonoCell chassis technology.

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McLaren reportedly hopes to sell 2500 P13s per year following the sports car’s anticipated launch in 2015.