New P1 confirmed for 2025. British supercar maker announces successor to its 903bhp hypercar along with hybrid power for all new McLarens within six years as part of £1.2billion plan.
Fifteen years. That’s how long it took McLaren Automotive to replace its very first hypercar – it’s very first series road car – the F1 with the P1. Now the Woking concern is hoping to slash a third off that time when it comes to replacing the latter, having confirmed that the P1’s successor will arrive before 2025.
The announcement came at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. As the covers were coming off the new 600LT, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt also presented a new ‘Track 25’ strategy, which outlines the company’s targets as far as 2025. This itself is an update to the earlier Track 22 strategy (up to 2022) revealed at the Geneva motor show in 2016.
Just over 24 months ago that plan was to launch 15 Sports, Super and Ultimate Series cars, along with a handful of specials, by 2022, all paid for by a £1billion investment. Fifty per cent of these cars would be hybrid powered. That plan has now been revised.
While three years have been added to the timescale, so has a further £200million of investment. The model count has increased to 18, too, and starts post 600LT. And rather than 50 per cent of the range being hybrid powered, all new McLarens will have some form of hybrid power by 2024.
Alongside the new Sports and Super Series models (we expect the 570 line-up will be completely replaced, as will the 720S), McLaren will also deliver both the three-seat Speedtail (previously codenamed BP23), a handful of specials in a similar vein to the Senna, and a successor to the P1.
Designed to be the fastest McLaren ever, the Speedtail will take on the mantle of being the true successor to the three-seat F1, with the remit of topping its maximum speed of 240.1mph. The Speedtail is still on track for a 2019 reveal. However, what wasn’t in the Track 22 strategy, but is in Track 25, is a new P1.
Expected to be the last model in the Track 25 programme, the new P1 will again utilise a hybrid powertrain, but Flewitt is conscious that McLaren can’t just build a more powerful V8-engined P1. ‘We won’t get into a power race with any of our cars, but we are happy to be in a lightweight race. I think we’re currently winning that race,’ he said.
The next P1 will therefore be the ultimate expression of everything McLaren knows about lightweight construction. Its carbonfibre cell and bodywork will be the lightest imaginable, that’s a given, but it’s the powertrain that will define the car and the company.
Along with advancements in both electric motor and battery technology, McLaren will use everything it learnt during the P1’s development to guarantee its replacement leads the field. Who knows, it might even set a lap time at the Ring…
We should also expect a new internal combustion engine, too, for the existing twin- turbocharged V8 will have been in production for a decade come 2021.
But could the next P1 be pure electric?
The idea hasn’t been dismissed. However, at this stage the technology is considered to be better suited to a Sports or Super Series car.
‘An electric McLaren would have to meet a very strict set of requirements,’ Flewitt explained.
‘It would need a range of 300km or be able to complete ten flat-out laps at the Nardo Proving Ground. We’re probably a way off from that just yet. We a re looking at synthetic, CO2-neutral E-fuels, however, to use in our combustion engines.’
For one so young, McLaren’s ambitions continue to grow.
TRACK 25: THE NUMBERS
18 new models
100 per cent hybrid power by 2024
£1.2bn investment 7-year timeframe
6000 production target for 2025
70 per cent McLaren Automotive’s contribution to McLaren Group £800m turnover