McLaren Working On Next-Generation Carbon Tub; New Hybrid to Arrive by 2020
The Brits plan to invest more than $1 billion in 15 new productsby Ciprian Florea, on
Although it launched its first road-going vehicle in 1992, McLaren didn’t have a proper automobile lineup until 2013, when the P1 supercar joined the existing MP4-12C that was introduced in 2011. Since then, McLaren’s sports car family expanded to include the Super Series (650S, 675LT, 625C) and the Sports Series (570S, 540C) with sales of more than 1,500 vehicles in 2015 and an estimated 3,000 units for 2016. Quite an achievement for a performance car maker of McLaren’s caliber.
But, McLaren doesn’t want to stop here. The Brits are gunning to sell around 5,000 cars per year by the end of the decade and want to get there by spending £1 billion (about $1.45 billion) on research and development to create 15 new products by 2022. That’s the word from McLaren boss Mike Flewitt, who told Automotive News that McLaren is already working on a new carbon-fiber tub, a new powertrain architecture, and new hybrid models.
Flewitt refrained from giving away too many details, but said that the new drivetrain will also motivate a mid-engined, two-seat sports car. The new powerplant, likely to be a turbocharged V-6 according to rumors, will be sold in parallel to the current 3.8-liter V-8. But unlike the V-8, it will have integrated hybrid technology from the very beginning. The model that will use the new engine will also get a carbon-fiber tub with aluminum frames that will be new, but not "radically different in concept" than the one shared by all McLaren sports cars as of 2016.
The Woking-based firm also wants to develop more hybrids. Having launched just one mild hybrid so far. McLaren says that more than half of its cars will be hybrid by 2022. McLaren also wants to increase the number of global dealers from 82 to around 100 over the next five years.
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Why it matters
McLaren’s expansion plan isn’t exactly news, but the fact that the Brits are already working on a new carbon tub and a new engine is. Although Flewitt didn’t say whether the current tub will be used alongside the new one, chances are McLaren is developing it for an entirely new vehicle that will compete in a different class. It will still hava mid-mounted engine and only two seats, but it will allow McLaren to expand into another market. Since a model smaller than the Sports Series isn’t very likely, the new architecture could spawn a supercar that will slot above the Super Series and below the P1. A powerful V-6 with a capable electric motor could provide the necessary power.
As far as hybrids go, McLaren will most likely launch a brand-new model and develop a hybrid version of an existing nameplate. It’s difficult to say at this point, but hybrid versions of both the 570S and 650S would make sense in today’s market.
And who knows, maybe the British brand will change its mind and offer an SUV or a sedan in the future, both of which could benefit from hybrid power.
Read our full review on the McLaren P1 here.
Source: Automotive News