New McLarens are always a good thing, but at what cost?
Some automakers like Porsche have such a mechanical and unforgiving way of conducting their business that it makes every other manufacturer look like a dysfunctional family. Another such company is McLaren, which has managed to turn a profit for the last seven years on the back of low-volume supercars. Now, a recent interview with McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt by Automotive News Europe opens the floodgates on McLaren's plans to dominate Ferrari and stay ahead in the future.
Flewitt detailed how McLaren wants to spend £1 billion pounds ($1.45 billion dollars) over the next six years on research and development for new products. McLaren hopes to get 15 new cars, including a P1 successor, out of the investment that is equal to the budget of a small country. Last year, the company sold 2,000 supercars to lucky buyers, but with the investment, it hopes to expand this number to 5,000. To get there, McLaren will divert most of the money into producing new powertrains and designing new carbon fiber structures. Currently, most of McLaren’s lineup features similar carbon fiber and aluminum frames powered by an impressive 3.8-liter V8. We can be sure that the next engine will be smaller and come with turbochargers.
Flewitt didn’t give any details on the engine that will power the next generation of McLarens, but he confirmed that we could expect to see hybrid drivetrains coming. At least one new car featuring the new toys will come out by the end of the decade with all 15 hitting showrooms by 2022. At least one of these cars will be the all electric McLaren we keep hearing about and that Ferrari refuses to compete with. Part of the reason for the new technology, aside from pursuing better lap times and beating Ferrari, is because of the increasingly tight fuel restrictions on the cars. We may hate on companies for downsizing their engines, but the reality is that Ferrari and McLaren don’t have a choice. At least we can be thankful for the effort to keep their cars sleek and fast.