2021 McLaren Hybrid Sports Car
McLaren’s first hybrid outside the Ultimate Series will replace the 570Sby Ciprian Florea, on
McLaren is set to launch a new hybrid sports car in 2020. Shown here in a batch of spy shots, this vehicle will be the first electrified model that won’t be part of the ultimate series. So far, McLaren has launched two hybrid supercars: the P1, built between 2013 and 2015, and the Speedtail, produced in 2019. This new hybrid sports car could be part of either the Super Series or the Sports Series.
Since the prototype is based on the 720S, it’s easy to assume that the production model will replace the current Super Series. On the other hand, the 720S is only marginally bigger than the 570S, which is part of the Sports Series. McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt also said that the company’s first hybrid sports car will be the replacement for the Sports Series lineup, so this is a scenario we need to consider as well. To keep things a bit simpler, I’m going to go with Flewitt’s statement and treat this hybrid prototype as a replacement for the 570S.
2021 McLaren Hybrid Sports Car
- Could be based on 570S
- Will have unique features
- Aggressive design
- Dihedral doors
- Revised air vents
- Sporty diffuser
The pointy nose and the three-piece lower bumper will carry over as traditional elements
Although wrapped in camouflage from front to rear, this prototype is identical to the existing 720S as far as design goes. It’s difficult to estimate what changes McLaren will make compared to the current Sports Series lineup, but I bet it won’t be radically different. The McLaren GT, for instance, borrows from other McLarens, so the replacement for the 570S should sport familiar cues as well.
The British firm will probably go for thinner, slightly longer headlamps. The arched design of the 570S will be dropped as it no longer matches what we can see on other McLarens. The pointy nose and the three-piece lower bumper will carry over as traditional elements. However, the vents will have a different shape. A carbon-fiber splitter will round off the front fascia.
McLaren will probably revise both the diffuser and the exhaust pipes, but this hybrid should retain the race-inspired vibe of the 570S
The sports car’s profile will also remain familiar. If we look at McLaren’s current lineup, it’s only the Speedtail that stands out thanks to its longer deck lid. The remaining models all share the same shape overall. This new hybrid won’t be different. It will also have similar dihedral doors, but with revised vents. These will probably migrate toward the rear wheels and grow larger for enhanced drivetrain cooling.
The rear of the hybrid supercar will probably have thin taillights, but McLaren might ditch the arched design. The Brits could go with the straight, horizontal design seen on the McLaren GT. Down below, McLaren will probably revise both the diffuser and the exhaust pipes, but this hybrid should retain the lightweight-specific, race-inspired vibe of the current Sports Series.
- Driver-oriented cockpit
- Leather upholstery
- Alcantara inserts
- Flat-bottom steering wheel
- Racing seats
- Optional carbon seats
- Very customizable
Like its predecessor, this new sports car will feature a flat-bottom steering wheel and a pair of heavily bolstered seats
Like any other McLaren available right now, the hybrid’s interior will be driver-focused and sporty. McLaren will redesign the familiar layout in the 570S but expect some features to carry over with similar designs. Look for a simple dashboard, a thin center stack with a vertical display for the infotainment system, and an all-digital instrument cluster. Both displays will have new menus to serve the hybrid drivetrain. You’ll be able to monitor data like battery charge, all-electric mileage, combined hybrid mileage, and regenerative power.
Like its predecessor, this new sports car will feature a flat-bottom steering wheel and a pair of heavily bolstered seats. It should also sit nicely in the premium market thanks to leather and Alcantara upholstery, contrast stitching, and solid fit and finish. Standard trim should include aluminum and carbon-fiber, but McLaren will also offer an all-carbon package. Likewise, look for plenty of customization options ranging from materials in various colors, matching or contrasting stitching, an even optional carbon-fiber seats.
This sports car will also feature an A/C system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a premium audio system, so spending time inside the cabin should be interesting to say the least.
- V-6 gasoline engine
- Electric motor
- Rear-wheel drive
- Around 600 horsepower
- 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds
- Top speed at 200+
- Should have usable range
- Might borrow tech from the Speedtail
McLaren's first hybrid outside the Ultimate Series will ditch the long-standing twin-turbo V-8 engine. Instead, the Brits are working on a V-6
This is where this upcoming sports car will stand out compared to the outgoing Sport Series models. Not only because McLaren will add an electric motor and a battery to the drivetrain, but also because it will introduce a new engine. According to previous reports, McLaren’s first hybrid outside the Ultimate Series will ditch the long-standing twin-turbo V-8 engine. Instead, the Brits are working on a V-6 unit.
Details about this engine do not exist at this point, but it will likely have a displacement of 3.0-liter and a pair of turbochargers. A smaller engine with fewer cylinders usually translates into inferior performance, but the electric motor will make up for that. McLaren’s generational replacements usually boast notably more power, so this V-6 hybrid should pack more oomph than the 570S. The latter comes with 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet on tap.
While the V-6 will generate between 400 to 450 horsepower, the electric motor will probably add just enough to turn the hybrid into a 600-horsepower vehicle. Torque will be notably higher since electric motors pack more twist than gas-powered engines. Expect this figure to surpass the 550-pound-foot mark.
The sprint to 60 mph will probably take 2.9 or three seconds, up to two tenths quicker than the 570S
The extra power should make the hybrid supercar quicker than the 570S, but the battery pack will add some extra weight. McLaren will probably manage to build a lighter car than the 570S, but the battery might make it heavier overall. This doesn’t mean that the hybrid won’t be quicker, but it won’t be that much quicker. The sprint to 60 mph will probably take 2.9 or three seconds, which will make it up to two tenths quicker than the 570S. Top speed should remain the same at 204 mph or increase by one or two mph.
The battery is another big change under the skin. While the P1 had electricity coming from its regeneration system, this sports car will be a full-fledged hybrid that you can charge. This means that it will also have better range. While the P1 runs for only seven miles on electric power alone, this sports car will be able to do that for at least 30 miles.
Whether the Sports Series hybrid will borrow the electric motor, battery, and technology from the Speedtail remains a mystery, but it’s a solid possibility.
Just like the existing Sports Series, this new supercar will be offered in more than one version. McLaren will also develop a convertible, but it will also make a higher-performance version of the Long Tail variety.
|Engine configuration||M840TE engine, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc|
|Drivetrain layout||Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD|
|Power PS (bhp/kW) @ rpm||620 (612/456) @ 7,500rpm|
|Torque Nm (lb ft) @ rpm||630 (465) @ 5,500-6,500rpm|
|Transmission||7 Speed+reverse SSG. Comfort, Sport and Track modes|
|Chassis||Carbon fibre MonoCell II-T monocoque, with carbon fibre rear upper structure and aluminium crash structures front and rear|
|Suspension||Double aluminium wishbone; independent adaptive dampers with Proactive Damping Control. Comfort, Sport and Track modes|
|Brakes||Cast iron discs (367mm front; 354mm rear) and calipers (4-piston front & rear); Carbon ceramic discs with forged aluminium calipers optional|
|Wheels (inches)||Front: 8J x 20; Rear: 10.5J x 21|
|Tyres||Pirelli P ZERO™ Front: 225/35/R20; Rear: 295/30/R21|
|0-97km/h (0-60mph)||3.1 seconds|
|0-100km/h (0-62mph)||3.2 seconds|
|0-200km/h (0-124mph)||9.0 seconds|
|Maximum speed||326km/h (203mph)|
|200-0km/h (124mph–0) braking, metres (ft)||127.0 (417)|
|100–0km/h (62mph–0) braking, metres (ft)||32.0 (105)|
Since it replaces the 570S, this hybrid Sports Series model should be the most affordable McLaren available once it goes on sale. But, while the 570S starts from less than $190,000, the hybrid could retail from around $200,000. The sports car will be offered with a long list of options, many of which will cost more than $5,000. This means that a fully packed model will fetch more than $230,000.
This car might not exist, but Ferrari confirmed that it will release a V-6-powered sports car in 2019. It will also have an electric motor and will slot below the F8 Tributo, so it will be a perfect competitor for McLaren’s upcoming model. This Ferrari was spotted testing with an F8 Tributo body. While it won’t look the same, it will borrow some styling cues. The interior will feature a ton of sporty features, but Ferrari won’t ignore premium materials like leather and Alcantara. Word has it the V-6 engine will be inspired by the company’s Formula One mill, so the electric motor could come from the same competition. Reports also claim that Ferrari might actually install two motors. Either way, it will be RWD only, just like the McLaren. Output of the 2.9-liter V-6 should be similar at around 600 horsepower, but the electric motor(s) might increase it to more than 700 horses. Expect this Ferrari to cost more than the McLaren. Estimates suggest a sticker between $250,000 and $300,000.
Read our speculative review of the 2021 Ferrari V-6 Hybrid
What? Am I comparing hybrid supercars to a grand tourer? Uhm, no! This isn’t the Vanquish you know. That grand tourer was replaced by the DBS Superleggera and Aston Martin is using the name for a mid-engined supercar. It already unveiled it in concept form, and we know it will feature a bespoke aluminum chassis and a V-6 engine. Aston Martin confirmed that it will have a turbocharged V-6 that will debut in the AM-RB 003, but it won’t feature the hybrid setup of the latter. However, while it may debut as a gasoline-only sports car, the Vanquish will definitely make the transition to electrification later in its life. Expect the V-6-only car to generate at least 500 horsepower, while the hybrid will probably come close to the 700-horsepower mark. It won’t arrive before 2020, and it will probably cost in excess of $300,000.
Read our speculative review of the Aston Martin Vanquish
A hybrid sports car to replace the 570S is a natural step for McLaren. Having touched base with the hybrid segment through the mild P1 and the more advanced Speedtail, it was time for McLaren to kick off its much-anticipated electrification program. Whether this sports car will match Ferrari’s offering remains a mystery, but it marks the beginning of a new era for McLaren. One that will see all of the company’s supercars feature electric motors. The Super Series will definitely follow through, while the replacement for the Senna will have one or two electric motors as well. It probably won’t be long before McLaren develops an all-electric supercar as well.
Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 570S Coupe.
Read our full review on the 2014 McLaren P1.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT Spider.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider
Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.