All-new lightweight architecture with electrification arrives.
McLaren has today unveiled its brand-new, ultra-lightweight vehicle architecture designed to be flexible enough to accommodate a new generation of electrified supercars. Developed at the McLaren Composites Technology Center (MCTC) in Sheffield, this new architecture was designed specifically to handle the additional weight that electrification brings by utilizing a number of "world-first processes and techniques."
The engineering challenge was not only to reduce weight as much as possible but also to guarantee structural integrity and meet all safety standards. The first hybrid supercar to ride on the new architecture is set to launch next year and will serve as a replacement for the McLaren 570S.
The debut of the new Sports Series was originally planned for this year with customer deliveries getting underway by end of 2020. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic delayed that plan. It's important to know this is the first time McLaren is switching to a new vehicle architecture since the reveal of the 12C back in 2011. Since then, every McLaren road car has ridden on the MonoCell chassis.
"This new, ultra-lightweight carbon fiber chassis boasts greater structural integrity and higher levels of quality than ever before with our new MCTC facility quickly becoming recognized as a global center of excellence in composite materials science and manufacturing," said McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt.
Flewitt also said that McLaren is aiming to build 100% electrified supercars and the new architecture is pivotal in making that transition. "For us, light-weighting and electrification go hand-in-hand to achieve better performance as well as more efficient vehicles."
The carbon fiber tubs used in the McLaren 765LT, GT, and Speedtail are currently manufactured in Austria, but the MCTC will now be tasked with their production. McLaren recently received a major financial lifeline to the tune of around $184 million to ensure it can survive these troubling economic times.
The company's ambitious $1.6 billion Track25 program, that will see the launch of 18 new models and variants by 2025, is now probably two years behind schedule.