McLaren’s future model ranges will be exclusively hybrid from as soon as their next generations, but the relative emissions win could leave room for combustion-only special editions, according to reports.
The Ultimate and Super Series will run out their current production schedules before switching to hybrid drivetrains as soon as next year - starting with the three-seater Ultimate Series GT codenamed BP23.
If the rumours are true, the Super Series could be moving to downsized V6 turbo engines slotted into a further development of the famed McLaren Monocell carbonfibre chassis, now on its second generation.
The Sports Series, currently made up of variations on the 570S, will be the last to be electrified – in 2022 – because its first replacement is due too soon to adapt it to the changing legal emissions landscape. McLaren prefers to design-in hybridisation from day one rather than rush an adaptation.
Autocar quotes McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt as saying:
“Hybrid design is part of the next platform – it is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis.”
But the magazine also says Flewitt refused to rule out petrol-only power for future Ultimate Series cars, despite the planned project BP23 being a P1-derived hybrid. The Senna has proved the sheer money-making power of a more old-school, hardcore special edition, so it makes sense.
The loss of the older 3.8-litre and the 720S’s newer (and furious) 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8s would be a sore loss to the car world, so here’s hoping they’re kept alive in any way possible.