Even though they produce fewer cars than mainstream automakers, companies in the supercar business are not immune to increasingly stricter emissions regulations. It's the reason why performance vehicles have been receiving heavy doses of electrons in recent years, so much so that Ferrari's hybrids are now actually outselling the ICE cars. Maranello's rival from Woking is no stranger to electrification, having introduced the P1 back in 2012.
In 2023, the Artura is the British brand's PHEV with a smaller V6, but should you want a pure ICE experience, you'll have to get the 750S we recently drove. It's not going to be here forever because McLaren chief technical officer Charles Sanderson says the V8-only powertrain is living on borrowed time. He suggested the 750S may very well be the firm's final series production car to offer a V8 while skipping electrification. He did leave the door open for limited-run special editions with eight cylinders and no electric motors.
Here's what he said in an interview with Australian magazine CarSales: "I'll never commit to it formally, but I think it's likely to be the last non-electrified series-production V8 just around the regulations globally in respect to internal combustion. We would love to [keep it going] because there's something special about internal combustion and there's a market for it. We enjoy it and I think the customers love it."
He went on to say that while an internal combustion engine delivers a "very pure experience," McLaren is keeping its options open by looking into hybridization. Sanderson mentioned the company is exploring all powertrain options. However, a fully electric supercar is unlikely to happen soon. In early October, McLaren CEO Michael Leiters revealed he doesn't think EV technology will be ready for "real supercars" until 2030. Of course, the people behind the Rimac Nevera and Lotus Evija would beg to differ.
For many years, McLaren has focused solely on supercars, ignoring the lucrative SUV segment out of fear it would dilute the brand. The new management team sees things differently as it hasn't completely ruled out a high-riding model. However, it's going to take a while. In a previous interview during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Leiters mentioned the company will first have to start making some real money before an SUV arrives. He referred to this more practical model as "shared performance" by having more than two seats and an extra pair of doors.