Supercar

McLaren's EV Supercar Riddle Can Be Solved By One Key Thing

Time to re-write the rules again.

McLaren has big plans for its future lineup, not to mention the already extremely impressive current one. By 2022 half of all new McLaren’s sold will feature hybrid powertrains. Eventually, an all-electric supercar will arrive, and according to Autocar, McLaren is already testing a development mule. Thing is, it’s still far from production ready. “We’ve got a pure EV (electric vehicle) mule and part of the reason for that is to ask how we can deliver driver engagement in a fully electric world,” said Dan Parry-Williams, McLaren’s engineering design director.

“But there’s still quite a journey from here to there in terms of our products.” The most significant issue to resolve, not surprisingly, are the batteries. “Let’s say you want to drive on track for half an hour,” said Parry-Williams. “If that was an EV, that car would have over 500 miles of (road) EV range, and it would be flat as a pancake at the end. The energy required to do really high performance on track is staggering. And then you have to recharge it.” Fortunately McLaren has time on its side and Parry-Williams and his team seem to be coming up with some creative solutions. “You can potentially manage [a flat battery] with a niche car,” said Parry- Williams.

“If you exhaust the battery but then have to do one recharging lap, that strikes me as being okay. But if you haven’t got an on-board generator (and) you’ve got a full EV, you haven’t got the luxury of doing that.” In the meantime, McLaren has just unveiled the road-legal/track animal Senna and a successor to the iconic F1 is also in the works.

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