McLaren’s supercar arm will announce a new, electrified platform next spring but CEO Mike Flewitt already dropped a few details while speaking to reporters in Detroit recently.
In attendance was Car and Driver, which reported on Wednesday that the new platform will spawn plug-in hybrids with V-6 and V-8 engines, plus all-wheel drive, the latter by way of an electric front axle.
Ferrari SF90 Stradale
Aston Martin Valhalla
Similar setups are found in Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale and Aston Martin’s Valhalla. Mind you, Acura and Porsche launched the technology years ago with their respective NSX and 918 Spyder models. McLaren’s P1 was also a plug-in hybrid, though it only had rear-wheel drive.
Thanks to the extra traction of AWD, Flewitt estimated that McLaren will be able to build a car capable of hitting 60 mph in 2.3 seconds. McLaren’s quickest car at present is the 789-horsepower Senna that hits 60 in 2.8 seconds. He also said McLaren’s plug-in hybrid technology will allow for an electric range of about 15-20 miles.
The first of the plug-in hybrid, AWD McLarens is due in 2020. The car isn’t to be mistaken for the Speedtail special edition, which is described as a hybrid with RWD. Full details on the Speedtail’s powertrain will be announced closer to the start of deliveries, also in 2020.
According to McLaren’s Track25 plan announced in 2018, the automaker’s lineup will be fully electrified by 2025. Don’t expect a battery-electric model anytime soon, though. Lithium-ion batteries are simply too heavy and solid-state batteries, while potentially a solution, are still years, if not decades away, from being ready on a performance versus cost basis, Flewitt said, according to Reuters, which was also at the Detroit briefing.