How McLaren plans to go hybrid

Published: 25 August 2020

► Woking's electrification begins
► Developed in-house at MCTC
► Where's it going? 

McLaren has revealed a new platform that’ll provide the basis for a new generation of electrified supercars. Developed at the brand’s £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in Sheffield – not Woking – it’s another in-house project from the supercar and now GT manufacturer. It’ll be manufactured in Sheffield, too.

So what is it?

It’s essentially a new, lighter carbonfibre-based platform that’s made with hybrid powertrains in mind.  If McLaren’s own Formula 1 activities are anything to go by, that means downsized, turbo-powered engines coupled to a raft of batteries. 

With that in mind, Woking’s new technology will need to counteract the increased weight from battery cells, as well as keep them protected.  McLaren says the new platform uses world-first processes and techniques to strip out excess mass, while also improving safety.

“Our advanced expertise in light weight composites processes and manufacturing combined with our experience in cutting-edge battery technology and high-performance hybrid propulsion systems means we are ideally placed to deliver to customers levels of electrified high-performance motoring that until now have simply been unattainable,’ said CEO Mike Flewitt. 

‘For us, light-weighting and electrification go hand-in-hand to achieve better performance as well as more efficient vehicles,’ he added.

What’s next, then?

McLaren hasn’t announced what the hybrid platform will make its debut, but we do know Woking is working on a hybrid cars. Our spy photographers snapped pictures of hybrid 72S mule late last year, but we’ve also got exclusive pictures of an all-new Sports Series McLaren testing – once again with a hybrid badge. 

The prototype is covered in camo, but appears borrow the rear lights of a McLaren GT, and couple them with a significantly more aggressive exhaust exit.  

CAR understands it’ll be revealed in 2022.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast