McLaren plans hybrid future 28 | 10 | 2016

    Scotcars spent the day with McLaren Automotive driving its new range of Sports Series supercars; and the British company gave Jim McGill a rare insight into its future, involving hybrids and electric vehicles, and celebrated Scotland having the No1 McLaren retailer in the world

    McLAREN AUTOMOTIVE — and no, that’s NOT the F1 team, but part of the same group — plans to launch up to 15 new models and derivatives by the year 2022. Referred to as ‘Track 22,’ the six-year plan includes provision for up to 50% of those new models to feature hybrid powertrains.

    To bolster its route to achieving this goal, the company last year invested £124 million; that’s almost 30% of its revenue.

    But that figure will only gets larger: over the course of Track 22, the Woking firm plans to invest £1 billion in research and development to ensure it can deliver its future projects plan.

    Two points are worth emphasising:

    1. The 15 cars will be new models, or significant derivatives of current cars. What they won’t be is special editions, such as 2014’s 650S LM;

    2. McLaren, emphatically, will not be building an SUV. “We don’t need one, and more importantly, our customers don’t want one,” a company spokesman, at McLaren’s 2016 Road Tour, told Scotcars. “Plus, we can only make 5000 cars a year, so we currently don’t have the capability to make an SUV. Our customers are happy with their Range Rovers.”


    McLaren currently sells its road cars across 30 markets worldwide. And what’s the No1 dealership? McLaren Glasgow.

    Earlier this year, the dealership operated by Park’s of Hamilton, was voted McLaren’s global No1 just 12 months after starting trading, having outperformed the four other highest-ranking dealers in the world; McLaren Dallas, McLaren Johannesburg, McLaren Philadelphia and McLaren Taipei.

    At the momment, McLaren operates 80 retailers around the world, and the plan is to grow that figure to 100. But the supercar company has no plans to expand into countries such as Russia or India.

    Sales of McLaren road cars are certainly increasing. This year’s global figure of 3000 will almost double the 2015 total of 1654; around 300 of those will be sold in the UK.

    And while McLaren doesn’t do “sales projections”, it does do “sales aspirations”; those aspirations should see it achieve 4000 units globally in 2017, with 500 in the UK, growing to a global total of 5000 by the end of the decade.


    Such is the growth in demand that the company has recently introduced double shifts for the first time, to increase 570S production volume: there’s currently a six-month order list for the 570S.

    Having reported profits for the third year in succession, McLaren has already completed the limited production runs of its P1 and P1 GTR hypercars, with the 675LT coupe’s 500-car production run already sold out. Production of the 500-strong run of 675LT Spiders is underway.

    McLaren’s most affordable range — and let’s keep this in perspective; the ‘entry model’ is the 540C, a less powerful variant of the 570S, still costs £126,000 — is the Sports Series.

    Sitting below the Super Series and Ultimate Series, the Sports Series encompasses the 540C Coupe, 570S Coupe (pictured) and 570GT. All three models are powered by the same 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 and weigh as little as 1311kg, boosted by their carbon fibre chassis.


    The 570S GT4 competed in the British GT Championship this season in the hands of Scots young guns Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty under the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse banner, winning two races. The team also ran a 650S Gt3 with Rob Bell and Edinburgh's Alasdair McCaig, and which won the season finale at Donington.

    While McLaren has stated 50% of its new models will feature hybrid powertrains, its engineers are currently working on an all-electric version of the P1.

    At this stage, the car is simply an “internal engineering evaluation study, not a production prototype”. There is though an underlying commitment, though not publicly confirmed, to be the first-to-market with a pure EV that will not only feel as fast, exciting and involving as a McLaren … but may, potentially, make a sound to stir the audible emotions of the driver.

    McLaren … as pioneering as it always has been.

    COMING SOON: Roadtest — McLaren 570GT

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    Jim McGill

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