McLaren is all about the trickledown theory. The energy recovery system that started in the company's F1 cars inspired the hybrid drivetrain in the P1 hypercar. And now, the British company has confirmed that a similar setup will grace the replacement for the 650S and 675LT. Code-named the P14, Car and Driver reports an updated 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 will be the centerpiece, but a focus will be on reducing the weight of batteries and electric motors. In fact, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said shedding weight is central to all of the company's hybrid pursuits.
"The P1 had 375 pounds of [batteries/motors] if you added it up; I think that today we're within a 70- to 110-pound weight penalty for hybrid," Flewitt told C/D. "I want to eliminate that, get it to zero – and then really hack off my engineers by saying we want to make it even lighter than a conventional powertrain would be. But that's in the future, it's something we're constantly driving."
Just because the next mid-range supercar from McLaren will get bits of P1, don't expect this kind of hybrid technology to filter into the company's more affordable offerings. Part of the reason McLaren is making this move with the successor to the 650S/675LT is because it will much faster, and in turn allow the company to create an even greater separation between its so-called Sports and Super Series cars.
Still, McLaren is making some very good decisions for drivers. Moving such an advanced piece of technology downmarket and focusing on cutting weight out of said tech is proof positive that the trickledown theory of motorsports works.
Expect to see this new McLaren hybrid at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.