McLaren Is Ready To Jump Into The Electric Supercar Segment
Planned EV supercar has a debut target of 2019by Kirby Garlitos, on
If anybody needed any more proof that electrification is fast becoming a real thing in the supercar segment, consider that McLaren is already preparing for its own electric supercar. Seems like it wasn’t that long ago when the thought of an all-electric McLaren would’ve been enough to draw laughter in a room full of mimes. And yet here we are. An all-electric McLaren supercar is on the table and according to Autocar, there’s a good chance it will debut as early as 2019.
Specific details about the planned McLaren EV supercar are still being paced out, but there are rumblings concerning a few details about the model that’s painting a somewhat clear picture of what we can expect out of it. One is that the model is expected to be classified under McLaren’s super exclusive Ultimate Series, a sub-section within the company that also includes the McLaren P1. There are also whispers that the proposed model will feature technology borrowed from the P1 and on top of that, it’ll also tap into the automaker’s involvement in the development of the Formula E powertrains that it supplies to some of the teams in the series. As far as actual figures go, Autocar says that the all-electric McLaren will have the same performance characteristics as the 675LT, the range-topping model in McLaren’s Super Series division that has 666 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. Since the electric supercar is going to sit in the higher echelon Ultimate Series, it is reasonable to think that it could have a little bit more power than the 675LT, maybe somewhere in the vicinity of 700 horsepower.
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This is a big deal because it’s McLaren
Imagine a world where there’s an all-electric McLaren going up against an all-electric Ferrari, and all-electric Lamborghini, and an all-electric Skoda. Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch, but still, those days of supercar makers rubbing their collective noses on electric cars are long gone. A company like Mercedes-Benz proved that with the SLS AMG Electric Drive. Same thing with Audi and its R8 E-Tron and Tesla with, well, everything that Tesla has.
A company like McLaren joining the electric supercar segment is a big deal in it of itself.
But a company like McLaren joining the electric supercar segment is a big deal in it of itself. The British automaker is regarded as an exclusive performance car manufacturer. It’s not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not even niche like companies like Nio and Rimac, which already have their own electric supercars in the EP9 and Concept One, respectively. This is McLaren, everybody. If it moves forward with its plans to develop and launch an electric supercar like it intends to now, it’s going to send ripples to the entire segment, essentially saying that there’s a big slice of that electric supercar pie that’s waiting to have an owner.
To McLaren’s credit, the decision to do this wasn’t made overnight. It’s actually part of the company’s Track22 business plan, which is essentially a blueprint for all the McLaren models the automaker plans to release in the next six years, not to mention investments in research and development amounting to around $1.4 billion. Guess where some part of that money is going to go to? Yep, electric car technology.
An all-electric McLaren supercar is on the table and according to Autocar, there’s a good chance it will debut as early as 2019.
I’m excited to see McLaren embrace this new frontier for the company. At the very least, it’s recognizing more than just the potential of the segment in terms of making a good business case. It’s also recognizing the growing belief that automakers will have to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry or risk getting left behind. There’s only so much talk of pride and legacy these companies can rationalize before they realize that all their filibustering isn’t getting them anywhere. Good on McLaren for recognizing that and instead of talking about the what-ifs and what-could-be’s, it’s doing something about it.
Read our full review on the McLaren P1.
Read our full review on the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive.
Read our full review on the Audi R8 E-Tron.
Read our full review on the Rimac Concept_One.
Read our full story on the Nio EP9.