It'll likely be a Sports Series model at the lower end of the automaker's range.
McLaren's first-ever mainstream hybrid sports car is on its way, and we'll get to see what the electrified sports car from the British manufacturer looks like later this year. Within McLaren's current hierarchy, Sports Series models like the McLaren 570S provide an "affordable" entry-point into the range, before progressing to the Super Series and Ultimate Series tiers. The good news, according to an Autocar report, is that the new hybrid will probably slot into the Sports Series tier, so it should come in at below the $300k outlay required for a 720S.
The McLaren PHEV (Plug-In Electric Vehicle) is to be powered by a twin-turbocharged V6, although McLaren hasn't yet divulged the specifics of the electric motor (or motors). Notably, no other current McLaren uses a V6.
CEO Mike Flewitt is excited about the upcoming hybrid, though, saying "we have experience of hybrid systems with cars like the P1, P1 GTR and Speedtail, and that recipe of offering a car that can be both truly economical and thrilling to drive remains our goal."
Being a performance hybrid, the PHEV's all-electric range will be limited to around 20 miles, just slightly further than what the BMW i8 Coupe could manage. The hybrid McLaren arrives at a tipping point within the motoring industry, however, as the UK government ruminates over bringing forward a ban on all new gas/diesel/hybrid vehicle sales to 2032, in favor of EVs. Flewitt thinks that such a move would be too hasty.
"Hybridization could play a key role in the journey [to zero emissions], and I believe a longer transition period of running hybrids and full EVs alongside each other could be part of the answer. We believe it will meet customer requirements sooner than a full EV. To set a deadline for its end before we have launched it is detrimental to the perception of the steps forward we've made, and it both stalls the demand and potentially causes people to hold on to or buy older, more polluting cars."
For now, 2032 is over a decade away so the potential ban won't stop us from having access to the new McLaren hybrid, which won't suffer from a hefty weight penalty, as do many hybrids/EVs. "At McLaren, we're fortunate that we're not so constrained by building to a price," explained COO Jens Ludmann. "Our customers want the best, so that's what we obsess over."
Considering Ludmann's statement, and despite the hybrid likely existing in the Sports Series tier of McLarens, it'll still likely start at well beyond $200,000.
Promisingly, the V6's hybrid system will be compatible with McLaren's more powerful V8s, too. With the 720S already churning out over 700 horsepower, one can only conclude that the imminent arrival of more hybridized McLarens (along with a future EV) will push the performance envelope even further.