McLaren to usher in new breed of hybrid and autonomous cars

Successor to the 570S will be based on a new structure

The next generation of McLaren sportscars, which will arrive from 2019, will use hybrid powertrains and have autonomous driving capability.

The core models, the first of which will be a replacement for the 570S, will be based on a new structure that will be an evolution of the current Monocell II architecture.

Following the successor to the 570S – which sits upon the lowest ‘Sports Series’ tier on McLaren’s model ladder – each subsequent replacement will use a hybrid powertrain. Given the 720S was launched this year, that Super Series model won’t be hybridised until 2022.

“Hybrid design is part of the next platform – it is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis,” said boss Mike Flewitt. He confirmed that a hybrid powertrain will be the only option within McLaren’s core model ranges and cars will not be offered only with internal combustion engines.

However, Flewitt would not rule out non-hybrid powertrains in some limited-edition models in its Ultimate Series, which includes the forthcoming Senna track car and the BP23.

The latter will use a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine augmented by an electric motor and battery pack. However, the hybrid powertrains due to be used in the Sports Series and Super Series models are likely to have a different set-up that will include a downsized turbocharged V6.

The new generation of cars will also mark the introduction of autonomous driving features to McLaren models. However, Flewitt said the firm will not adopt every possible aspect of self-driving technology currently on the market.

“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,” he said.