Jenson Button will have the first run in the new McLaren when pre-season testing starts next month, the Formula One team said.
The new MP4-27 car is due to be launched at the Woking factory in southern England on Feb 1 with 2009 world champion Button scheduled to kick off testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Feb 7 and 8.
Team mate, fellow Briton and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton will take over the final two days on Feb 9 and 10.
Button finished overall runner-up to Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel in the 2011 season, with Hamilton fifth overall and beaten by a team mate for the first time in his F1 career.
Both McLaren drivers won three races last year.