Nearly every McLaren made will be a hybrid car after the year 2022.
In an interview with Autocar, the McLaren CEO announced that the company renowned for turning petroleum gasoline into burnt rubber and noise will be using less gas in its tireless pursuit of riotous rubber. That’s right —McLaren is going hybrid.
“Hybrid design is part of the next platform – it is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis,” said Mike Flewitt, McLaren CEO. What this means in practical terms is that McLaren won’t take any existing models and turn them hybrid, but will instead replace every model in its lineup with a new hybrid version when they’re due to be replaced.
The first to get this treatment will be the 570S, due out in 2019. Then, over the next four years, McLaren will toss every old model for a new one with a battery pack ending with 720S which will likely meet its end in 2022.
Technically, this isn’t a big swerve for McLaren as their flagship car, the P1, already has a hybrid system in it. You can charge the onboard battery pack with a long enough extension cord or by using the car’s massive 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine—one will get the job done a little faster and will also get you to the grocery store, but since both do the job it’s still a hybrid.
However, the P1 allows electric-phobic purists to turn off the hybrid part and stick to the gas engine if they truly want to. That option won’t exist on the newer models, which is both good for the environment and for McLaren’s long-term viability as even ludicrously expensive hypercars still have to pass emission tests.
The most astounding thing announced by Flewitt is less the fact that McLaren is going hybrid and more the fact they’ll be including driver assist software on its upcoming models —at least some, anyway. “We will be selective. Autonomy in its own right isn’t that appealing to our customers, but we need to have capabilities designed in for safety, legislation and emissions,” Flewitt says.