McLaren is rewriting the supercar formula

McLaren is rewriting the supercar formula

With the upcoming bans on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles, all carmakers are having to think about electrifying their range. Many people have a very clear idea of what a McLaren should look and sound like but that’s all about to change. Just as a Ferrari, Jaguar, and other luxury brands are going electric, McLaren is thinking about how it’ll make the transition, too.

While McLaren believes it could go electric tomorrow, that wouldn’t work for these sportscars. The weight of the batteries would kill all of the attributes that make McLaren vehicles so well-loved. This means the automaker needs to totally rethink the formula for its cars in an electric era. Before it can do that, though, it's looking at a plug-in hybrid to fill the gap.

McLaren recently released the Atura plug-in hybrid. Geoff Grose, chief engineer of this new vehicle said: “From the very beginning of the project, designing and engineering the Artura has been all about challenging ourselves to innovate, pushing and pushing to achieve everything we knew a next-generation, high-performance hybrid McLaren supercar had to be. As a result, the Artura is all-new; including the V6 engine, the transmission – which also integrates a new type of electric motor for the industry – as well as the rear suspension concept and our first-ever electronic differential.”

Underpinned by the McLaren philosophy of super-lightweight engineering, the Artura offers an electric motor alongside the V6 engine. This means faster throttle response, lower emissions, and being able to run in pure EV mode for up to 18 miles.

The Artura’s battery pack uses McLaren’s hybrid expertise. Both the McLaren P1 and the Speedtail have ‘power batteries’ like those found in motorsport, while the Artura features an ‘energy battery’. This enables both impressive acceleration performance and offers usable battery energy of 7.4kWh.

McLaren is fully aware of the changes that need to made in this new era of electrification. A plug-in hybrid is a great start that’s bound to please a lot of buyers. It’s clear, however, that McLaren is working on rewriting its supercar formula for a fully electric vehicle.

Jess Shanahan

Author:Jess Shanahan
Date Updated:17th Feb 2021

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