Mercedes-Benz and McLaren are planning another assault on their supercar rivals with a new coupé designed to take on the Ferrari 360 Modena and Lamborghini Gallardo.

Mercedes-Benz and McLaren are planning another assault on their supercar rivals with a new coupé designed to take on the Ferrari 360 Modena and Lamborghini Gallardo.

Still only a concept, the new car will be built alongside the existing SLR at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking from late 2007. It is very likely that a convertible version of the car could be made available.

For their new rear-wheel drive wonder, the pair are developing a smaller, mid-engined model to fill the gap between the SL55 AMG and the SLR. In their renewed partnership, they have moved away from the front-engined option used in their previous supercar, the Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR.

And according to , Mercedes and McLaren are desperate to put the concept (codenamed P8) into production. Of great significance to Mercedes Benz is that the V8 engine under development will also be used to power its future AMG derivatives.

The all-new design will be developed under AMG engine head Rolf Zimmerman, who was also behind the V12 used in the Pagani. With a capacity of 6,3 litres, the naturally aspirated engine is said to develop about 373kW.

Also serving as a thorny reminder to the German marqué, is that rival Audi has already reached an advanced stage in creating its own supercar, the Le Mans, using the Lamborghini Gallardo as a base.

Original article from Car