This is happening even after Trump kills US fuel economy regulations.
And back we go into the treasure trove of information that Car and Driver has dug out of McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt during the Geneva Motor Show, and this time around we hear word on future powertrain options that may or may not bode well for enthusiasts. That’s because previous reports claiming that McLaren would only make hybrid cars by 2025 are beginning to sound true, especially since the automaker expects half its cars to be hybrids by 2022.
McLaren already has a hybrid model out, but as we’ve recently learned, its hybrid drivetrain will be transplanted into the highly exclusive BP23 supercar, an ultimate three-seat grand tourer built by McLaren as a tribute to the original F1. One amendment McLaren had to mention was the fact that it will be more powerful than the current 903 horsepower P1 and will do so by mating the electric portion of that hypercar’s drivetrain to the automaker’s new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. Flewitt didn’t quote an exact power figure but mentioned that the battery pack would be upgraded too for a more dramatic effect. “It will be a very different car,” Flewitt told Car and Driver.
“The BP23 is going to be a very quick GT car, so you won’t see us racing it around tracks or cutting the roof off to make a spider. It’s a sleek, aero-efficient low-drag GT car with three-seat packaging, and it will have our most advanced hybrid engine going in, so it will be extraordinarily quick.” Exciting as that may be, the biggest change for McLaren may come much earlier in its range, with the Sports Series being a prime target for electrification according to Car and Driver’s own estimates. Given how much weight a hybrid drivetrain would add, it’s likely that McLaren would mate batteries and electric motors to a turbocharged V6 power plant to supplement the lost cylinders and mitigate the weight gain.
Again, Flewitt would neither confirm or deny. “For us, it’s all about the attributes,” he said. “If we can get the performance, then it doesn’t matter if it’s 12 or 10 or eight or six (cylinders).” Seems very Acura NSX-ish to us, but we’re certain McLaren would find a way to make its entry-level prospects a bit more exciting. More worrisome is that McLaren’s move to hybridization early in its lineup would be the canary in the coal mine, signifying that the Porsche 911 and other segment competitors could soon follow at the start of the 2020s. At least none will be lacking in the horsepower department.