Is this the beginning of the end for gas-powered supercars?
Recently, McLaren has been on a rampage against Ferrari. After announcing that it will invest $1.4 billion in research and development cash for new models over the next six years, McLaren has revealed that this cash will be used to bring hybrid technology from the P1 down to the ranks of the 650S and 675LT. This is an interesting but intelligent move on McLaren’s part for two reasons. The first is that this move now brings hybrid technology to the six-figure bracket versus the seven-figure zone where the P1 lies.
This will make it interesting to see how Ferrari responds when the time comes to reveal the 488 GTB successor. Secondly, this decision hammers a few more nails into the internal combustion engine’s coffin by ensuring that displacement shrinks while boost pressures and voltage levels grow to take the job that gasoline once had. McLaren promises that these cars wont disappoint because the performance targets for its next generation of midrange supercars is to be substantially faster than the current 650S and 675LT. This is in part to help further separate the midrange cars from the entry level McLarens like the 570S and the 540C.
Frank Stephenson, McLaren's design director, said that to make this possible, engineers and designers are working together on a radically new design that will be more aerodynamic and also on how to completely mitigate the hybrid drivetrain’s weight penalty. There’s no telling as to when these new juice box supplemented twin-turbo V8 McLarens will be shown to the public, but the 2017 Geneva Auto Show is probably a safe bet.