What an electric McLaren hypercar might look like
McLaren will not launch an electric car before 2022 because the company believes they are not yet exciting enough to drive.
An electric McLaren had been tipped to be launched as one of 15 new McLarens in the firm's Track 22 plan of new launches to 2022, but that will not be the case, McLaren boss Mike Flewitt has confirmed to Autocar.
"With EVs, developing is the right word, and we have an electric mule running around," said Flewitt. "It's more for the attributes than the powertrain itself. How exciting can an EV be? Next to the Senna, it isn't.
"We couldn't deliver an EV today that would meet the excitement of the McLaren brand. We're working on it. As the technology is developed, the performance capacity will come. It's a good five years away. It's a challenge to us to produce the same engagement as with the P1, Senna and 675LT.
"It's some way off, and it's not in the plan because we don't have the answer at the moment."
He was more positive on hybrid development, though, and repeated his claim that 50% of McLarens would be hybrids by 2022 and, "to play it safe", that all would be in 10 years' time. "It's on track," he said.
Hybrids are much easier to integrate into the design of a car's powertrain, said Flewitt, allowing them to become an integral part of the engine and powertrain rather than bolt-on devices, as they were previously.
"The downsides are weight and cost, but the upsides are reduced emissions and the ability to access zero-emission zones in cities," said Flewitt.
"It's a better driving experience with a hybrid. We can do it with a hybrid but not with an EV."