McLaren may be on the cutting edge of racing, but there’s one technology they have no plans to get into anytime soon.
In a world that is increasingly going electric, there’s one supercar maker that’s holding back. Actually, there’s a few, but McLaren is a notable one simply because they’ve already flirted with the idea of electric cars and seem to have pulled back.
McLaren’s first foray into something other than a purely gasoline-powered car was the P1, their plug-in hybrid supercar that uses electric technologies to enhance an already phenomenally performing car. Combined horsepower between the twin-turbo V8 and the electric motor is over 900 bhp with the instant torque of the electric components making up for the turbo-lag of the engine.
At the time the P1 was a marvel of engineering, but since then McLaren seems to have shown far less interest in electricity. Speaking to Bloomberg, McLaren Automotive’s director of global sales Jolyon Nash said the company has no plans to consider a fully electric vehicle.
“In the immediate future, no,” Nash said.
Even more strangely, when asked if McLaren had any plans to get into Formula E, the new racing series featuring only electric cars, Nash confirmed that McLaren not only had no plans but that Nash himself knew very little about the new racing series at all.
“To be quite frank, whatever thoughts I’ve got will be quite uneducated,” he said. “I’m a traditionalist. I love to hear the sound of an engine going around a track. Formula E doesn’t provide that.”
Plenty of other major car makers have gotten into Formula E, such as Porsche, BMW, Jaguar, Renault, and Audi, but McLaren remains a stalwart holdout despite their brand being associated with racing in many other categories.
According to Nash, it may be that shortcomings inherent to the EV, such as lack of range, might be what’s holding McLaren back. “Until the technology develops sufficiently for both power and range, I think it would be hard to have an exciting supercar that is pure electric. We haven’t quite got our heads around how that’s going to work.”
In the meantime, Nash continues to drive his all-electric BMW i3 to work every morning.