McLaren is the Mexican restaurant of the car world. Before you get all up in arms defending McLaren, just think about it now. If you go to a Mexican restaurant, you’re going to end up with some combination of cheese, meat, vegetables, and beans on, in, or under tortilla. If you buy a McLaren, they’re all built on the same chassis and use some variant of the same thirty-year-old Nissan V8 engine. Some are hybrid, some have a top that opens, some have holes in the doors, some go super fast, but at their base the entire McLaren lineup for the last ten years has been at its core the same car.
By my account Mexican food is very good, and mixing those ingredients in a different order makes for some incredible flavor combos and I’m here for it. It would seem that McLaren is similar in that everything it builds from those core ingredients are world-class. To recap: Mexican food good, McLaren also good.
Every McLaren from the MP4-12C to the Speedtail has been based on the same MonoCell carbon tub architecture. A few years ago, for the P1, McLaren introduced a strengthened version of the MonoCell called the MonoCage, but it’s still basically the same shit. That is, until now. McLaren is starting from scratch for its next generation of sports, super, and hyper cars. This one is allegedly lighter, stronger, safer, and built specifically for accomodating hybrid powertrains. That’s important, because McLaren is aiming to transition to 100 percent electrified supercars in the near future, be they hybrid or battery-electric.
This new chassis doesn’t have a fancy new name yet, but rest assured it will soon. McLaren developed this entire chassis in-house at its new McLaren Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield.
There’s very little information about the new chassis available, but McLaren says it will be launching a new hybrid supercar next year based on this new architecture.
Here’s what McLaren Automotive’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, had to say about the new chassis design.
“The new ground-breaking vehicle architecture is every bit as revolutionary as the MonoCell chassis we introduced with the company’s first car, the 12C, when we first embarked on making production vehicles a decade ago.
“This new, ultra-lightweight carbon fibre chassis boasts greater structural integrity and higher levels of quality than ever before with our new MCTC facility quickly becoming recognized as a global center of excellence in composite materials science and manufacturing.
“Our advanced expertize in light weight composites processes and manufacturing combined with our experience in cutting-edge battery technology and high-performance hybrid propulsion systems means we are ideally placed to deliver to customers levels of electrified high-performance motoring that until now have simply been unattainable.”