McLaren secures its supercar future with new hybrid V8 engine
Iconic British marque McLaren has confirmed that it is developing a new hybrid V8 engine for its future supercars. The automaker has inked a new multi-year contract with engine supplier Ricardo, to produce the all-new electrified powertrain for both its existing and future line-ups. The upcoming high-performance motor will be an integral part of the company's next-generation products, said CEO Michael Leiters.
Why does this story matter?
Founded by Bruce McLaren (Formula One and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner) in 1985, McLaren Automotive is known for creating some of the most iconic models such as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and the F1 hypercar. After witnessing the success of its first-ever hybrid supercar, the P1, the automaker started shifting its focus toward electrifying its line-up, without compromising on the performance aspect.
The McLaren F1 paved the way for the automaker's success
Legendary designer and engineer Gordon Murray created the F1 hypercar, McLaren's first-ever vehicle. The lightweight grand-tourer was the first production car to use a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and other high-tech and expensive materials such as titanium, gold, magnesium, and kevlar in its construction. The coupe paved the way for the automaker's success by becoming the world's fastest-production car in the early 1990s.
The brand adopted a three-tier product structure in 2015
The MP4-12C model marked the return of McLaren in the high-end supercar segment in 2011. The brand adopted a three-tier product structure in 2015 by dividing its range of cars into the Sports, Super, and Ultimate series. The supercars in the first two categories are given names based on their power output, while those in the latter get monikers based on the automaker's history.
McLaren previously sourced engines from BMW
While McLaren is a big name in the automotive industry, the carmaker was never into engine designing and development in its early days. The iconic F1 hypercar used a BMW-sourced 6.1-liter, naturally-aspirated, V12 engine, internally codenamed S70/2. However, this changed with the MP4-12C in 2011.
The company plans to go greener with electrified V8 powertrains
Ricardo PLC, a British engineering and automotive parts manufacturer, provided the now-legendary 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine (codenamed M838T) for the 12C model. Now, the company has secured a multi-year contract as an engine supplier to McLaren. While the automaker is yet to disclose the details of the hybrid V8 powertrain, the new decade-long contract confirms the existence of ICE-powered supercars beyond 2030.Share this timeline