To say the Sabre has been a long time coming would be a serious understatement. We first caught wind of the hardcore McLaren in October 2018 when a report emerged about the folks from Woking interested in turning the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo from a year before into a real car. The report mentioned a “BC-03” codename, before a trademark filing was discovered in June 2020, showing a potential “Sabre” moniker.
Fast forward to the end of last month, hugely revealing design sketches from a trademark filing showed us the car in question from basically all angles. Now, the cat is (mostly) out of the bag as the Sabre has made a surprise debut on Instagram courtesy of cochespias. One of the images seems to be taken inside a building where McLaren was presumably putting the finishing touches on the new model. The other looks like an official rendering of the same car, complete with a black and yellow livery that would make Wiz Khalifa proud.
The Sabre does look like a Senna GTR had a one-night stand with the virtual race car created for Gran Turismo Sport. The tiny headlights and massive rear wing seem to have been inspired by the Ultimate Vision GT, and we’re particularly fond of how the brake lights were integrated to mimic those of the digital racer.
While the Senna GTR is restricted to the track and the Ultimate Vision GT only exists on Sony’s gaming console, the Sabre has been spotted recently on UK streets, meaning it will be road-legal. Some say it’s a one-off while others claim it will be limited to 15 cars. The Internet consensus is that power will be provided by the tried-and-tested V8 4.0-litre twin-turbo combined with an electric motor for grand total of 1,150 bhp and 1,280 Newton-metres (944 pound-feet) of torque.
Gallery: McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo
It will be interesting to see where the Sabre is going to fit in McLaren’s lineup taking into account CEO Mike Flewitt recently said the next Ultimate Series model is not due until 2025. He also specified the model will be a direct P1 successor, and since the Sabre doesn’t fit that bill, it means he was talking about a different car.
The official unveiling is said to take place soon, although we’re sure plenty of one-percentres with a soft spot for McLaren have seen the Sabre already.