Looks like future Maccas could be as quick as they are friendly to the environment.
In terms of brand associations, you wouldn't necessarily link McLaren with low-emissions powertrains. For sure, the British supercar maker has already dabbled with hybrid power and is quite interested in developing an all-electric model eventually, but - for the time being, at least - it's the gas guzzling speed machines that best define the brand. However, a new investment grant might speed up the eco-friendly McLaren development process.
Courtesy of government backing, the Advanced Propulsion Center in the UK will be giving the consortium of companies that McLaren is involved with a grant of 42 million GBP (just over $55 million at current exchange rates). As part of this joint effort, McLaren's slice of the funding pie will be to develop new ways in which to better manage the thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines, with features like modular engine components and lightweight composite materials all being experimented with as part of this new grant. It's unknown when this tech will be ready for use in road cars, but it shouldn't be long before we see the initial results of these new developments.
McLaren isn't the only vehicle manufacturer set to benefit from this grant. A subsidiary of Caterpillar, for instance, will be utilizing its part of the funding to develop ways in which to create fuel-saving features like energy-storing flywheels and variable hydrostatic transmissions. More relevant to the automotive sector, however, is what Jaguar Land Rover plans on doing with this extra money. According to the APC, JLR will be using its grant allocation to develop "next generation low carbon vehicles." As with the McLaren side of things, it's likely we won't see these features on production-ready cars for a while, but we're still rather excited to see the end results of this extra funding.