Woking firm is testing all-electric prototype as it considers a successor to the mighty P1

McLaren is continuing to evaluate all-electric powertrains and their implementation in future models, because of their relative simplicity and lower centre of gravity than combustion engines.

The Woking brand has long hinted that its P1 replacement, due in 2023, could swap petrol for electric power, and its involvement in Formula E – where it supplies the drivetrain tech – emphasises its expertise in the area.

Last year, McLaren launched its Track 22 strategy, where it aims for half of its range to be hybrid by 2022. The brand also stated that the strategy would prepare it for an all-electric future.

More recently, Mark Vinnels, the company’s executive director for programme development, has emphasised how electric could benefit a supercar, saying “in engineering terms, electric cars are beautiful”.

However, Vinnels also explained that range issues and the less viscerally engaging character of electric are still drawbacks.

“Suppliers in the battery industry are working flat out to improve the energy density of their batteries, while what we want are batteries with better power density,” he said. “One promotes range, the other performance, and the more power density you have, the bigger the issues with cooling the battery pack.”

However, McLaren Applied Technologies is supplying Formula E with a new generation of battery that offers significantly more range, which will negate the need for a car change mid race and therefore offers about double the range.

McLaren is not alone among supercar manufacturers in acknowledging the need for hybridisation and electrification. Ferrari’s next generation of V12 supercars will be hybrid assisted and Porsche has already announced its 671bhp Panamera S E-hybrid, the most powerful such car to go into mainstream production.

Porsche’s all-electric Mission E coupé is due to go into production with over 600bhp by the end of the decade.

McLaren 720S video review

Our Verdict

McLaren 570GT

Grand touring version of McLaren's mightily impressive 570S lives up to its high expectations

Join the debate

Comments
2

18 May 2017
No, it has not 'long hinted' that the replacement for the P1 will be electric powered. Because it won't.

And this is an even more babyish drawing of absolutely nothing than normal. All it really needs is even bigger wheels.

I really don't understand why Autocar doesn't realise that anyone reading this stuff on their website is a bit of a car weirdo, and knows nonsense when they read it.

19 May 2017
eseaton wrote:

No, it has not 'long hinted' that the replacement for the P1 will be electric powered. Because it won't.

And this is an even more babyish drawing of absolutely nothing than normal. All it really needs is even bigger wheels.

I really don't understand why Autocar doesn't realise that anyone reading this stuff on their website is a bit of a car weirdo, and knows nonsense when they read it.

.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Golf MHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    VW's 48V mild hybrid technology is still a few years away from production, but we’ve sampled a prototype Golf fitted with it and are suitably impressed
  • Jeep Compass
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Jeep enters the competitive compact SUV market with its new Compass, blending ruggedness with contemporary styling and tech
  • BMW 1 Series Saloon
    We had a short drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    A brief drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive model shows the future is bright for the 1 Series when it makes the switch from RWD next year
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Toyota Prius PHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Does running a plug-in hybrid really make sense as a 500-mile-a-week driver? Six months with a Toyota Prius Plug-in should give a conclusive answer