The new underpinnings will eventually pave the way for a pure electric model.
Having launched the P1 and Speedtail in the past, McLaren is no stranger to hybrid supercars. The boys and girls from Woking are now kicking it up a notch by developing a brand new platform with electrification being the top priority. The first production model to take advantage of the underpinnings will arrive sometime in 2021, although the British supercar maker remains coy on details about the car.
If you’re worried the extra hardware required to accommodate a hybrid powertrain will make future McLarens heavier, don’t be. That’s because the new architecture makes even greater use of carbon fiber to cut fat as much as possible while making the cars safer than the current crop of models. Without going into details, the company says its new car platform relies on “innovative, world-first processes and techniques to strip out excess mass, reduce overall vehicle weight, while also further improving safety attributes.”
The electrified supercar coming next year is just the tip of the iceberg as the platform is described as being flexible, meaning it will underpin a variety of other McLarens during the company’s second decade of regular car production. Compared to the original MonoCell chassis launched in 2010 with the MP4-12C, the new development has "greater structural integrity and higher levels of quality,” according to McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt.
He went on to specify the new platform will pave the way for the first pure electric McLaren, without saying when it would actually arrive. In a previous statement, Mike Flewitt said that “winning the weight race” is a priority as electrification is taking over. To achieve this goal, McLaren invested the equivalent of around $65 million in the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region in the North of England. The facility inaugurated in 2018 was used to develop the new carbon fiber-intensive platform that will underpin a variety of models in the years to come.
Leading the way will be the 570S replacement we’ve spotted as a test mule looking a lot like the GT. It is said to use a twin-turbo V6 rather than the tried-and-tested V8, but nothing is official at this point.
McLaren unveils all-new, innovative lightweight vehicle architecture
Mike Flewitt, CEO of luxury supercar maker McLaren Automotive, today confirmed the introduction of the brand’s all-new, flexible, lightweight vehicle architecture which will underpin its next generation of electrified supercars.
The new architecture, designed specifically to accommodate new hybrid powertrains, has been entirely engineered, developed and produced in-house in the UK at McLaren’s £50m state-of-the-art McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in the Sheffield region.
The new flexible vehicle architecture utilises innovative, world-first processes and techniques to strip out excess mass, reduce overall vehicle weight, while also further improving safety attributes.
It will underpin the next generation of McLaren hybrid models as the supercar company enters its second decade of series vehicle production.
The first new McLaren hybrid supercar to be based on the all-new architecture will launch in 2021.
“The new ground-breaking vehicle architecture is every bit as revolutionary as the MonoCell chassis we introduced with the company’s first car, the 12C, when we first embarked on making production vehicles a decade ago.
“This new, ultra-lightweight carbon fibre chassis boasts greater structural integrity and higher levels of quality than ever before with our new MCTC facility quickly becoming recognised as a global centre of excellence in composite materials science and manufacturing.
“Our advanced expertise in light weight composites processes and manufacturing combined with our experience in cutting-edge battery technology and high-performance hybrid propulsion systems means we are ideally placed to deliver to customers levels of electrified high-performance motoring that until now have simply been unattainable.”
Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.
Mr Flewitt said the new architecture would enable McLaren to transition to 100 per cent electrified supercars.
“For us, light-weighting and electrification go hand-in-hand to achieve better performance as well as more efficient vehicles,” he said.