McLaren P1 Successor Won’t Be Fully Electric

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And it won’t arrive until around 2025.

The McLaren Speedtail is slated to launch in 2019 as the automaker's new Ultimate Series hypercar. It won’t, however, be a direct successor to the potent P1 – you’ll have to wait until around 2025 for that to arrive. Given that the new P1 is still a long way off, we assumed it will be an all-electric hypercar. After all, the P1 helped spawn a new era of hybrid hypercars, so it would make sense for its successor to do the same for electric hypercars. According to McLaren boss Mike Flewitt, however, it won’t be fully electric. Like its predecessor, it will adopt a hybrid setup once again.

“We’ve got a couple of options around powertrains, and I don’t think we’ll be purely EV by then, so logically it will be a hybrid,” he told Top Gear. Flewitt added that the new P1’s electrification will be “far more than we’ve seen previously”. If you need a reminder, the P1 was powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that produced 727 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor added another 176 hp and 192 lb-ft, resulting in a combined output of 903 hp. Whether its successor uses the same hybrid setup as the upcoming Speedtail remains to be seen, but the P1’s successor could potentially break the 1,000-hp barrier.

The brutal Senna is designed to tear up the track while the Speedtail will serve as a comfortable, more refined grand-tourer suitable for long high-speed journeys. The new P1, on the other hand, will offer the best of both worlds. “If you think back to P1, it was actually a road car,” Flewitt said. “It was good on the track, but we had people say it was a little under-tired and so on. It was a great road car that was a lot of fun on track. The P1 successor won’t compromise road ability – it’ll be a combination of road and track performance, a more universal car.”

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Right now, McLaren is focusing on making its cars as light as possible to beat the competition, and the new P1 will be no exception. “I’d love it to not be just about absolute power,” Flewitt added. “The metric that really defines us is power to weight, so we’ll be fighting to keep that car as light as we can. If you take weight out, it turns into a cumulative effect, because lots of components can start to reduce in mass. Then you get a better sportscar.” Crucially, though, the new P1 will still be immensely fun to drive. “In one way it’s about designing and engineering great cars. The other side of our business is like luxury goods. You can’t rationally explain these things… they’ve got to be fun,” he added.

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