The McLaren Sabre could be a wild supercar; or nothing at all

British automaker McLaren just filed a trademark with the United States Trademark and Patent Office for the "Sabre" name. And it’s intriguing to say the least, because McLaren hasn’t announced a new model recently and we haven’t seen any prototypes either.

What’s more, the rumor mill contains no information whatsoever about such a model. However, this new trademark, first discovered by GT Nation, fuels new rumors that the Sabre name could be used for a spiritual successor to the P1.

The McLaren Sabre could be a new Ultimate Series model

McLaren Just Trademarked The "Sabre" Name - Does It Mean a McLaren P1 Successor Is Finally Coming?
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McLaren’t currently vehicle lineup is split into four categories. There’s the entry-level Sports Series that includes the 570S, 570GT, and 600LT, and the mid-range Super Series with cars like the 720S and 765LT. McLaren also unveiled the GT recently, creating a new category for four-seat mid-engined supercars. Finally, there’s the Ultimate Series, a tier that includes halo supercars like the Senna, the Speedtail, and the Elva. The Sabre could fit right here.

Why? Well, although the Brits unveiled three Ultimate Series model in recent years, none is a direct successor to the P1. The Senna is basically a race car for the road, the Elva is a speedster that pays tribute to McLaren’s iconic Can-Am cars, while the Speedtail is a highly aerodynamic model with a three-seating layout that reminds us more about the F1.

2014 McLaren P1 High Resolution Exterior
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A few years back, McLaren said that the P1 will eventually have a successor.

The Sabre could be this specific car. A powerful supercar with at least 1,000 horsepower coming from either a hybrid or an all-electric drivetrain. With EV supercars like the Lotus Evija capable of 2,000 horsepower, McLaren could be working on something similar.

The New McLaren Elva Is Faster Than the Senna, Lighter Than Any Other Modern Road-Going McLaren Exterior
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The Sabre also fits into the Ultimate Series category when it comes to its name. The Ultimate Series is McLaren’s only tier with cars that have actual names: Senna, Speedtail, Elva. All the other cars have codes that combine the output in PS with letters like S, C, and LT, depending on specs and body layout. Also, it doesn’t make sense for the Sabre to be a limited-edition version of either the 570S or the 720S.

What does Sabre mean?

McLaren Just Trademarked The "Sabre" Name - Does It Mean a McLaren P1 Successor Is Finally Coming?
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Sabre is a term that defines a heavy cavalry sword with a curved blade and a single cutting edge or a light fencing sword, also with a curved blade.

Historically, this term means nothing to McLaren.

There’s no race car from the past with that name and it also doesn’t make much sense when compared to other cars built by the brand.

Specifically, Senna bears the name of F1 legend Ayrton Senna, while Speedtail describes a longtail-style, extremely aerodynamic body. Elva is borrowed form an old race car. But Sabre, it has absolutely nothing to do with McLaren’s past so maybe it could describe an important design feature. I’m not expecting McLaren to built a curved supercar, obviously, but it could incorporate familiar features that look like a sabre, such as headlamps and rear fender cooling vents. Or maybe McLaren will have a completely different explanation for this name.

Is the McLaren Sabre just around the corner?

The New McLaren Elva Is Faster Than the Senna, Lighter Than Any Other Modern Road-Going McLaren Exterior
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Not really. Trademarks are usually filed long before a production model arrives. If McLaren is already working on it, it will probably take at least two years until we see it. McLaren is usually open about what it has in the works and with no word from the British company, it’s safe to assume that it’s at least a couple of years away.

There’s also the fact that sometimes trademarks don’t mean anything. Automakers trademark nameplates all the time and often enough they don’t even use them on production cars.

Source: USPTO

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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