McLaren Might Build a 200-MPH Electric Supercar “As Exciting As a 675LT”
The future of McLaren is electric. The hybrid P1 wasnt a fluke–it previews more hybrid supercars to come from the British brand. McLaren announced earlier this year that it was investing $1.4 billion into powertrain development, with a focus on electrification. Now, it seems that possibility might become a very fast reality. UK publication Auto Express reported Thursday that McLaren is working on a limited-production all-electric supercar to slot above the 675LT but below the P1. A McLaren insider told Auto Express that a successor to the P1 wont arrive until 2023, but that the company could add an all-electric car to its Ultimate Series, the automakers highest-performance bracket, which currently consists of only the P1. If McLaren ends up building such a car, itll need to be as good as everything the company currently offers—despite not being powered by internal combustion. “No one buys a McLaren because they need one. We know that,” said Auto Express unnamed McLaren source. “So we need to make an EV thats as exciting as a 675LT… An electric McLaren would need to manage 30 minutes on track with a 30-minute break before heading back out again.” AutoExpress also posits that this could be the first electric production car to break the 200-mph barrier. And if you think about it, McLaren is very well-positioned to make an all-electric supercar. The automakers extensive expertise in lightweight carbon fiber and the massive cooling needs of a track-ready supercar are imminently applicable here. Add in the obsessive engineering that McLaren is known for, and youve got a great recipe for a battery-powered supercar that can stand up to track duty—something no major automaker has attempted thus far. Still, if McLaren wants to attempt this, its going to be a major challenge. It will take a lot of effort to make an electric car feel as exciting as something with the sound and fury of a race-derived internal combustion engine. In other words, its one thing for Tesla to make a blindingly quick all-electric sports sedan. Itll be a whole different challenge for McLaren to build an electric supercar that can compete with Ferrari, Lamborghini, or even other McLarens.