Technology

McLaren Developing Autonomous And Hybrid Sports Cars For 2019

The 570S successor will be the first to have both technologies.

McLaren is clearly not afraid of making bold decisions and this mentality will very much continue. Autocar has learned the UK-based sports car and supercar company is already hard at work on the 570S successor, due in 2019. As part of its “entry-level” Sports Series, the 570S and 570GT have been major successes and McLaren fully intends to capitalize on this. But the next generation Sports Series will be different from the current crop due to a hybrid powertrain and autonomous driving capability.

“Hybrid design is part of the next platform – it is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis,” said CEO Mike Flewitt. Furthermore, this hybrid powertrain will be the only power source in the next Sports Series range, meaning there will be no internal combustion engine-only option. The new Sports Series will essentially kick off McLaren’s mainstream lineup hybrid era, but the just redesigned Super Series, the 720S, won’t receive the hybrid treatment until its successor arrives in 2022. However, Flewitt did not rule out the possibility of non-hybrids for future limited edition Ultimate Series models, which includes the upcoming BP23.

Expect for these future McLaren hybrids to ditch the twin-turbo V8s in favor of a twin-turbo V6 linked to an electric motor. The other major thing about the next Sports Series, and later on the Super Series, is the introduction of autonomous driving tech. Fortunately, McLaren has no intention of making these vehicles fully self-driving, and will purposely leave out some of the current crop of technologies. “We will be selective,” Flewitt said. “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.” Fair enough.

Lastly, the 2019 Sports Series will also debut a new platform, but it’s really more of a heavily updated and evolved version of the current MonoCell II architecture. There are some big changes in store for this particular segment, but we have a good feeling McLaren knows exactly what it’s doing.

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