Production is doubling, and the cars are evolving
McLaren posted record sales in 2015 and expects to double those sales for 2016. As a result of the booming supercar business, McLaren also plans to launch 15 all-new cars or derivatives of already-existing vehicles over the next six years.
Manufacturing has doubled this year, with production going from 10 cars a day up to 20. McLaren’s current business plan doesn’t call for anything other than two-seater sports and supercars, so we don’t expect to see SUVs anytime soon.
Of the cars McLaren intends to put into production by 2022, 50 percent of them will feature hybrid technology, according to a statement released by the automaker. With so many cars being hybrids, that might pave the way for a smaller-displacement engine with less cylinders than the 3.8-liter V8 used in all its cars today.
Significant investment in new products is already vitally important to McLaren, but emissions rules and regulations might be an even stronger force. In addition to the hybrid powertrains we’ll see in the future, McLaren is also working on the viability of an all-electric car for its “Ultimate Series.” We know it’s possible to create an extremely fast electric car, but there’s something about a McLaren with no gas engine that just feels wrong.
McLaren’s financial results press conference yesterday gave a chance to confirm that things are still moving in the right direction for the British sports-car company, but also gave some more insight into future model plans. Which, if we’re honest, is way more exciting. McLaren continues to expand, having recently recruited another 250 staff at its Woking factory in England to start a split-shift system and boost production. Last year the company made 1654 cars—and made its third year of profits, and although turnover dropped by around 5 percent we’re told that this was due to the end of P1 production reducing the revenue made for each car sold. But company boss Mike Flewitt was also happy to talk about product developments, including McLaren’s decision to develop an EV prototype and a downsized engine. We already know that McLaren is working on a smaller powerplant, which we believe will be a V-6 based on the same architecture used in the existing V-8 family. Flewitt dropped a very broad hint that this will only be offered in conjunction with the performance-boosting hybrid system the company has already said that it’s developing. “We will continue to downsize,” he said. “We’ve got to address emissions because markets are putting ever more pressure on us. We would design something with the capability to integrate hybrid in an efficient way, [so] rather than being a bolt-on system, it’s integrated from day one. That’s the focus.”
He also said that work on the development of the EV prototype has already begun. “We’re working with two or three different partners on electric motors and batteries,” Flewitt said, “we’ll build it into an existing architecture, it may even end up being the 12C architecture initially, maybe with a conventional suspension system, because we want to learn step-by-step.” A single prototype will be built for initial testing, with this then followed by an ultra-limited run of what are likely to be ‘Ultimate Series’ EVs that will gauge reaction to a more mainstream version among McLaren’s customer base. “We’ll put it out there and see how customers use the car,” Flewitt said. “If you take the car out onto the track, for example, even with a power-dense battery then you’ll drain it in no time.” Despite this, McLaren still hasn’t committed to creating a full production EV yet—and if it does happen it will be outside the scope of its existing pledage to introduce 15 new models ot significant variants before 2022. Flewitt admits that the EV prototype will be a voyage of discovery for McLaren’s engineering team, as well as its customer base.
Further details on McLaren’s forthcoming EV have emerged with CEO Mike Flewitt confirming to Auto Express that the model will be “the most exciting sports car we have ever made.”
Flewitt confirmed that the brand was working on a pure EV to sit in the range-topping Ultimate Series, but insisted a spiritual successor to the hybrid P1 didn’t form part of the manufacturer’s Track22 business plan. A direct replacement for the P1 is, therefore, at least seven years away.
When it arrives, the car will be able to withstand ’20 to 30 minutes of track use’ with a minimum range of ‘at least 300 miles.’ A test mule for the EV hypercar is also under development based around the old MP4 12C coupe.
McLaren’s move to electric must boost performance
“Going to an EV has to enhance the driving experience. We’re not going to present an electric sports car with an apology that says ‘sorry it’s not as exciting as your V8’,” Flewitt told us. “When we present an electric sports car it’s going to be the most exciting sports car we’ve ever launched.
“People can build and sell quite impressive electric cars today for transport, we will build cars that are perhaps more about entertainment than just transport.” McLaren announced its Track22 plan at March’s Geneva Motor Show, ensuring at least 50 per cent of its cars would feature hybrid or electric tech by 2022. The proposal included a £1billion investment in R&D, forming the basis of 15 new models or derivatives before 2022.
The key debate at the moment focuses on weight. Adding electric power usually makes a car too heavy, yet McLaren values its lightweight construction. The new car would need to be lighter than the P1 – hardly a heavyweight itself – meaning the next few months and years will prove pivotal in the quest for a super-lightweight design for the McLaren pure EV.
Despite all the new technology and hypercar levels of performance, our insider said that an Ultimate Series car “doesn’t have to have a £1million price tag”. They did, however, insist that it would be built in limited numbers and with “singular focus” – in this case, a pure electric drivetrain.
The new McLaren 570S Sprint will make its global debut this week as it takes on the Hill at Goodwood. It will be showcased at the Supercar Paddock, alongside the McLaren P1™ GTR, 650S Can-Am, 570S Coupé and the 675LT Coupé. A second Sprint model will be showcased privately for McLaren guests next to Goodwood House.
The 570S Sprint, based on the 570S Coupé, is McLaren’s ‘most track-focused’ model in the Sports Series line-up. McLaren claim it is purely for owners ‘to enjoy on the track’, without any of the restrictions of the Race Series.
The Sprint has been built around the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, shared with all Sports Series models. The power and torque levels have been optimised to enhance the driver engagement, as well as the noise, as it powers around the track.
The front bumper of the Sprint is designed to pierce through the air, separating the airflow above, below and through the bodywork. Combined with other aerodynamic upgrades, such as a large carbon fibre fixed rear wing and front dive planes, the Sprint generates the highest level of downforce on any Sports Series model.
The 570S Sprint features enhanced cooling through the GT3-inspired high temp radiator, and the double wishbones and anti-roll bars are shared with the suspension system seen on the 570S Coupé.
The 570S Sprint has not been homologated, although you can upgrade to a GT4 compliance pack. The Sprint was developed in parallel to the 570S GT4, which is currently completing its final testing phase in the British GT Championship.
Deliveries of the 570S Sprint start in 2017, with prices starting from £148,000.
McLaren P1 EV to join Ultimate Series and sit below the standard P1 with a sub-£1million price
McLaren is preparing a cut-price all-electric hypercar to sit below the P1 in its limited-run Ultimate Series range. It will be a track-focused road car, and could go on sale before the end of the decade.
Previous reports had suggested the EV would be the P1’s successor and would make use of the electric drivetrain currently under development. But it has since come to light that a cheaper model could launch with a sub-£1million price tag.
The new McLaren will boast faster acceleration than the Super Series 675LT, despite emitting no CO2. It could even be the first road-ready electric production car to break the magic 200mph barrier.
Supercar was refreshed by company’s Heritage division
Get out your checkbook and start writing zeros now. McLaren is selling an F1 street car, chassis no. 069, with just 2,800 miles from its McLaren Special Operations Heritage division. The company is selling the car on behalf of a private owner.
Only 64 road-going examples were built between 1993 and 1998, and this one is in concours condition, says McLaren. It was hand built in Woking, England and has since been refreshed by the company’s Heritage division.
The centrally driven F1 supercar, nay, hypercar, was designed by the legendary Gordon Murray and sports a BMW-built, 6.1-liter V12 making somewhere in the realm of 627 hp. Top speed is a ludicrous 242.8 mph.
This one is painted in carbon black, and gets a dark finish on the 17-inch magnesium wheels. The driver’s seat is black and red leather, while the two passenger seats get alcantara.