McLaren Claims An Electric Hypercar Doesn't Need 2,000 HP, It Must Be Lightweight
There have been quite a few hypercars after the P1 but McLaren has yet to release a true successor. The peeps from Woking are taking their sweet time as another flagship model is not due until closer to 2030. When it eventually arrives, the crown jewel of the lineup won’t have a combustion engine since it’ll take the shape of a pure EV, much like the Porsche 918 Spyder’s replacement will do away with the ICE.
McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters spoke with Autocar about the Mission X rival and how it won’t have crazy power. He argues the P1’s purely electric replacement won’t need crazy power because the engineers are working on limiting the weight penalty commanded by the batteries: “We don’t want to make a car that is 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs) and 2,000 hp.” He went on to say that “anyone can do that” but the British marque won’t as it’s not in the “DNA of McLaren.”
The goal is to make a zero-emission hypercar with roughly the same weight as the 750S, which tips the scales at a remarkably low 1,277 kg (2,815 lbs) before adding fluids. Whatever McLaren comes up with, Leiters said it’ll have to outperform an equivalent ICE model in terms of power, performance, and handling. It’s going to take a while since the head honcho projects the EV hypercar will be released “maybe at the end of the decade.”
Looking at the power and weight figures of other cars competing in the rarified electric hypercar realm, the record-breaking Rimac Nevera has 1,914 hp and tips the scales at 2,150 kg (4,740 lbs). The mechanically related Pininfarina Battista has 1,900 hp and weighs 2,063 kg (4,548 lbs) while the Lotus Evija packs 2,011 hp and is considerably lighter, at 1,680 kg (3,703 lbs). Porsche hasn’t released full details about the Mission X but said the concept had a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio.
McLaren is in no rush to introduce an all-electric P1 replacement since internal studies have revealed customers are not asking for an EV yet. Leiters argued that the 750S’ popularity goes to show the ICE is still in high demand in the supercar realm but admits some people want to explore purely electric performance cars. During the transition from ICE to EV, there will be plug-in hybrid models based around a new V8 engine, positioned above the Artura with its V6 PHEV setup.
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