McLaren Plans Increased Production; Half The Lineup To Be Hybrid
With the 675 LT recently launched, McLaren is developing even more models for the near future. Speaking with Car and Driver at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt spilled the beans on part of the plans, which include even lighter cars thanks to a decrease in carbon-fiber costs. Since its pockets are currently full, the British carmaker plans to reinvest almost all profits into R&D and next-generation powerplants.
When asked if McLaren will introduce a hybrid system into its upcoming less-expensive models, Flewitt surprisingly confirmed. "Definitely, yes," he told Car and Driver. "I’d struggle to give you a date right now, but we’ll see it coming soon. I would say that 10 years from now at least half our cars will be hybrids — I don’t see any other way of meeting the demands around emissions — and we also get some significant drivability benefits in terms of the character of the powertrain. The downside is that it adds weight and the systems are expensive, and putting weight into a sports car is the exact opposite of what we want. But you’ll see us conquer those challenges.”
Until then, McLaren is busy preparing to launch its entry-level "Sports Series" models, at least one of which is to be unveiled at the 2015 New York Auto Show. None of them will be hybrid though, as that type of powertrain is likely reserved for the next-generation McLaren sports cars.
Continue reading to learn more about McLaren’s future plans.
Why it matters
In the early 2000s, few people would have expected that McLaren would evolve to not only challenge, but sometimes even beat Ferrari or Porsche at their own games. Back then, McLaren Cars was mainly known for the fantastic F1 and the SLR, which was co-developed with Mercedes-Benz back when the two companies were still friends. About a decade later, McLaren features an increasing model lineup that will soon rival that of established companies like Ferrari or Porsche, and already has more models than Lamborghini.
With carbon-fiber costs going down and McLaren technically using the same "MonoCell" chassis on all its models, it’s safe to say that lineup twice as extensive as today’s isn’t out of the question. The only negative angle may be the fact that too many similarly styled cars would somewhat dilute the images of its halo models, not to mention that they may also steal sales from one another.